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REMAKKABLE 



ROVIDENCES 



ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE EARLIER DAYS 
OF AMERICAN COLONISATION. 

BY 

INCREASE MATHER. 

WITH INTRODUCTORY PREFACE, 
BY GEORGE OFFOR. 



V 



LONDON : 

REEVES AND TURNER 

196, STRAND. 

1890. 



F 

MS"? 




INTRODUCTION. 



HE very natural and laudable curiosity to ex- 
amine and compare the past with the present, 
has been recently gratified to a great extent 
by the republication of rare and curious books. 
The labours of the Percy, Parker, Camden, Shakespeare, 
and Hansard Knollys Societies, have contributed a store 
of information most pleasant and profitable. The Haiieian 
and Somers' collection of Tracts have rendered acces- 
sible a vast number of singularly interesting but rugged 
pamphlets, in contrast with which our popular literature 
sheds a benign influence over society, while it exhibits an 
equally superior elegance of appearance. 

The volume now offered to the public is one of a series 
of the popular books of a bygone age, which will form a 
valuable library of old authors, that in their original forms 
are too rare and expensive to be generally accessible. 

These singular narrations were collected by one of the 
most valuable men of a most eventful period. It exhibits. 

a 



vi INTRODUCTION 

a striking and interesting display of the state of public 
feeling of those times, as to supernatural appearances and 
strange or mysterious events ; and the dawn of light upon 
an enquiring mind, inihued with godly piety, leading him 
to attempt to penetrate the gloom with which the human 
intellect has been for ages shrouded. 

The subtle craft of a wily priesthood first Pagan, and 
then Christian led them to claim the exercise of dominion 
over the invisible world, and especially over demons. 
This may be traced to a pure source, which, by the craft 
of man, became streams most polluted. "God, who at 
sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past 
unto the fathers," completed his revelations by his Son, 
and with the death of those who were in personal com- 
munion with him, miraculous powers ceased. But as 
false prophets among the heathen had deceived the people, 
so did false apostles in the Christian church, by pretended 
miracles. Upon the ignorance of man they constructed a 
subtle system, transforming the teaching of Christianity, 
which by its divine Founder had been based upon the 
purest philanthropy, into a mine of pelf in its extent in- 
credible as it is dishonourable. The pagan priesthood 
practised delusions puerile and absurd, consulting the 
entrails of beasts, the flight of birds, the hum of oracles ; 
and this gave place to practises equally childish rotten 
bones, relics, incantations, and holy water. 

Upon the ignorance of man they built up a curious and 
ancient system, now fast falling to decay ; and in countries 



INTRODUCTION vii 

where old inventions have lost their influence, as a last 
refuge of lies, they fly to a mystic apostolic descent, con- 
veying some obscure undefined miraculous powers. Thus 
have they acquired an ascendency over their fellow-men 
soul-destroying, tyrannous, and almost universal. They 
limit to their own order all mortal influence to appease 
Heaven or to overcome hell. He who dared to doubt 
the appearance of ghosts, witches, or goblins, and their 
power to torment man, and the power of the priesthood 
over these mysterious tormentors, was denounced as an 
infidel. The priest alone could cope with satanic power ; 
and the more firmly they fixed upon the people a belief in 
the supernatural, the stronger became their influence over 
them. Terrors handed down from mother to daughter 
;ame almost indelible. How strange, how incredibly 
5iird is it, even at this day, to see in a doorway an 
[icle of faith, in the shape of an old horseshoe, to pre- 
vent the entrance of sprites or fairies ; or to witness the 
"foolish sorcery," as our author calls it, of foretelling 
events by the white of an egg ! Almost equal in 
absurdity, and much more mischievous, is the authority 
still claimed by the priesthood. Who is it that in a 
twinkling turns an innocent babe from being a child of 
the devil into being " the child of God " ? Who is it that 
says to the sick and dying, " I absolve thee from all thy 
sins " 1 and who is it that buries the body of the vi est 
malefactor, " in sure and certain hope of the resurrection 
to eternal life " ? Kone but a priest is supposed to 



viii INTRO D UCTION 

possess these mysterious powers, while men, even scientific 
philosophers, affect to believe the potent spell. 

If such things are now believed, it affords a strong 
plea for indulgence to Doctor Mather and our pilgrim fathers, 
whose minds were clouded with some of those chimeras 
which had overshadowed all mankind ; but struggling to 
throw them off. To see a child totter into walking, and 
to hear him stammer into speech, is interesting ; but 
how much more so to watch the progress of man when 
emerging with anxious care from slavery and darkness 
to liberty and light ! He feels the solemn responsibility 
of private judgment of praying for Divine guidance, in- 
stead of paying for pater-nosters to sham intercessors. 

The editor of this singular collection of Remarkable 
Providences was the son of one of those seventy-seven 
pious clergymen who, with four thousand of their fol- 
lowers, found refuge among the Indians in the wilds of 
America from the ferocious tyranny of Archbishop Laud. 
Dr. Mather, who was one of the most extraordinary men 
of the age, was born at Dorchester, N.E., June 21, 1639, 
and received his name from a very extraordinary increase 
with which the colony was at that time favoured. He 
was educated for the ministry, and coming to England, 
obtained literary honours at Dublin University, being 
then only nineteen years of age. At that time lie con- 
versed familiarly in Latin, and had read the Old Testament 
in Hebrew, and the New in Greek. He was highly dis- 
tinguished for his attainments in mathematics, philosophy, 






brc 
sor 

v:. 



INTRODUCTION ix 

history, theology, and rabbinical learning. It pleased 
God, at a very early age, to baptize his spirit into divine 
truth, and he became a valuable preacher in England. 
Upon the accession of Charles the Second, he refused 
to submit his conscience to the dictates of the state, and 
ch<se rather to trust God's providence than to violate 
the tranquillity of his mind. To escape persecution, he 
returned to New-England, and was ordained pastor over 
the North Church in Boston, May 27, 1664, after 
having preached on probation three years. He fulfilled 
his duties to that Church for sixty-two years ; retaining 
his full power of intellect, popularity and usefulness, 
until he fell asleep in the arms of his son, and was 
gathered to his fathers in the eighty-first year of his age. 
He was the author of ninety-two distinct works, besides 
many learned and useful prefaces. 

During the long period of his ministry at Boston, he, 
in a faithful proclamation of the gospel, sowed those seeds 
of religious and political liberty which, when mature, 
brought forth an abundant harvest. In the early part of 
ministerial career, the colony of New-England was 
sorely oppressed. That tiger in human shape, Colonel 
Kirk, of West-of-England notoriety, was governor. The 
people determined to send their most talented man to 
represent their grievances to Charles the Second, and in 
their wisdom selected Dr. Mather. This alarmed the 
oppressors : every effort was made to prevent his em- 
barkation. A letter was forged, bearing his name, offen- 



x INTRODUCTION 

sire to Government, and was purposely intercepted in it? 
supposed route to Holland, and sent to the English Court. 
His wisdom overcame all obstacles ; he escaped every 
snare, found access to the King, took advantage of his 
declaration of liberty of conscience, and obtained a re- 
mission of their persecutions. He had several interviews 
with James the Second, but all terminated with that weak 
monarch in good words and promises. On the accession 
of William, he with great difficulty obtained a new 
charter, and in 1692 returned in the same ship with 
the new governor. By these wise exertions, crowned 
with complete and extraordinary success, he laid the 
foundation upon which Washington, Franklin, and their 
compatriots established the vast and extending empire of 
the United States of America. 

Such was the eminent divine, the decided patriot, the 
truthful historian, who to promote the best interests of 
man, collected, arranged, and published these Remarkable 
Providences and Marvellous Escapes by Sea and Land. 
They faithfully delineate the state of public opinion two 
hundred years ago, the most striking feature being an 
implicit faith in the power of the invisible world to hold 
visible intercourse with man; not the angels to bless 
poor erring mortals, but of demons imparting power to 
witches and warlocks to injure, terrify, and destroy. 

These superstitions prevailed in all nations in propor- 
tion to ignorance and priestly domination. All professed 
to believe in witchcraft, excepting only those few en- 



INTRODUCTION xi 

lightened philosophers who were branded as "impious 
atheists." It was at this period, when oppressed by the 
ruthless hand of persecution, our pilgrim fathers, threat- 
ened with torture and death, succumbed not to man, but, 
trusting on an Almighty arm, braved the dangers of an 
almost unknown ocean, and threw themselves into the 
arms of men called savages, who proved more beneficent 
than rational Christians. Their exodus was unlike that of 
the Israelites, fenced about with miracles, guided by an 
inspired leader, and in one great body. Our refugees 
divided into small parties, fled in frail vessels more fit for 
ferry-boats over an arm of the sea than to brave the 
billows of the Bay of Biscay, the stormy perils of the 
Atlantic, and the foggy dangers of Newfoundland, 
irs was a solemn covenant, that at all hazards they 
Id render unto God the homage of the heart in obey- 
ing his high commands, however contrary to human laws, 
which are void of obligation when they infringe the rights 

B conscience. 
They sought an asylum in an unknown wilderness, and 
ere founded a mighty nation, which when purified from 
slave-holding, bids fair to become the greatest nation in 
the world. Kingdoms governed by despots will melt 
away, while those where religious freedom reigns must 
urish. The exiles took with them their educational 
judices, which the solitariness of the wilderness had a 
dency to increase. Their faith in supernatural appear- 
ces, possessions by devils or by the souls of deceased 




xii INTRODUCTION 

persons, and in witchcraft, was strengthened. Their belief 
was supported by plausible arguments, apparently well- 
attested facts, and embraced by the great, the wise, and 
the good. Nor did they feel the difference between faith 
in unseen spiritual existences and faith in their visible 
appearance to man. Dreams, like that of Dr. Frith 1 , are 
told by one narrator to another, with additions and 
embellishments, until they became visions. The French 
scholar, 1 having spent the produce of robbery in de- 
bauchery, goes on to shed blood his conscience drives 
him mad he raves of having sold his soul to the fiend, 
and sealed the contract with blood. The priests assemble; 
they pray and exorcise; the bystanders are amazed. 
It may have been that one of them, who had previously 
written and threw it up, catches a paper fluttering in the 
air ; it is signed and sealed with blood ; it is the accursed 
deed, and is torn in fragments. The maniac recovers, like 
the rich man in the humorous tale of the Cobbler, by 
Samuel Wesley. Who could doubt but that the devil had 
so befooled himself ? One such tale was quite enough to 
be told with a thousand variations all derived from one 
original, and all attested by the same spectators. The 
most cruel and mischievous of all these delusions was that 
of witchcraft. Poor defenceless old women, especially the 
ill-favoured and ill-tempered, were sacrificed to that horrid 
Moloch. The history of their sufferings, with that of the 
martyrs, forms the most gloomy, the blackest, and most 
1 See Preface. 



INTRODUCTION 



revolting pages of history. The prevailing opinion was 
that under the Mosaic law fclfc^, answering to the Greek 
word 0a/>,ua/cet'a,i conveyed the same idea as the English 
word " witch," and that such characters were, by divine 
command, sentenced to death. These words convey no 
such meaning as a Satanic compact, but allude to an 
acquired human knowledge, as skill in medicine some- 
times perverted to administering poison, and at others to 
poisoning the mind with the cruel ceremonies of idolatry. 
Thus it was with Manasseh, 2 who persuaded the people 
to murder their offspring as an act of religion. A witch 
is denned by the statute to be " One that shall use, 
practise, or exercise any invocation or conjuration of any 
evil or wicked spirit, or consult, covenant with, entertain, 
or employ, feed or reward any evil or wicked spirit," &c., 
" whereby any person shall be killed, destroyed, wasted, 
consumed, pined, or lamed in his or her body, or any part 
ereof." 3 So early as Edward VI, 1547, Cranmer's 
Articles of Visitation inquires of every parish officer : 
" Item. Whether you know any that use charms, sorcery, 
enchantments, witches, or any like craft invented by the 
devil." The Virgin Queen continues this inquiry with 
the addition, "and especially in the time of women's 
travel." The fear was lest the devil should steal away the 



1 Gal. v, 19, 20. 

2 2 Chron. xxxiii, 6. The word m 

in Africa for doctor, or wise man. 
Eliz. and 1 James. 



Obi Man," is still 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

soul of the infant, and introduce an imp of his own in its 
place a superstitious notion derived from the Jews. In 
the same reign, some Jesuits practised extraordinary 
delusions at the mansion of Lord Vaux, at Hackney, near 
London. Weston and Carnpian were the chief performers; 
their abettors were Sarah Williams and some other aban- 
doned young women. They were taught to throw them- 
selves into a kind of mesmeric trance, and, with strange 
distortions of body, uttered a pretended inspiration from 
the world of spirits. There were awful denunciations of 
wrath upon all who embraced the doctrines of the 
Reformation, as being possessed by Satan and doomed to 
eternal misery. These young women were restored from 
these paroxysms by the aid of holy water, purgatives, and 
emetics, and, when these failed, the foul fiend was driven 
out by the application of reliques in a most indelicate 
manner. 1 

The Stuart race kept all these delusions in fashion, 
especially witchcraft. King James asserts the compact 
between Satan and the witch ; and, among many amusing 
ceremonies, states that the devil teaches his disciples how 
to draw triangular circles a most potent spell ; but 
unfortunately, his Majesty of England does not furnish 
us with a diagram to illustrate his infernal majesty's 
problem. At length, in the latter part of the seventeenth 



1 Published, with the confession of the poor woman, in a 
small 4to, in possession of the writer. 



INTRODUCTION xv 

jntury, witchcraft became a dreadful epidemic, and the 
number of lives that were sacrificed will never be known. 
Drowning, hanging, and even burning the victims, only 
increased the horrid appetite for such slaughter. A 
Scotch witch-finder was tempted at Newcastle and in 
Northumberland to condemn poor women as witches for 
a reward of twenty shillings for every one that, on his 
'idence, was put to death. When he was hung for 
>me villany in Scotland, he confessed that he had been 

death of above two hundred and twenty women. 1 
Matthew Hopkins, another of these wretches, hanged 
less than sixty reputed witches in one year in Essex 
lone. Dr. Zachary Grey saw a list of between three 
and four thousand persons who suffered death for witch- 
craft. These cruelties were permitted while the victims 
were poor, old, decrepid women, but attacks on the 
wealthier classes occasioned alarm. A highly respectable 
ker lady, named Morlin, was tried for witchcraft, and 
ived from an ignominious death by the wisdom of Judge 
r indham. The evidence a lewd woman named Pryer = 
>re that the lady appeared at her bedside one night, 
about two years ago ; took her from her husband's side, 
turned her into a bay mare, and rode her several miles up 
by lanes to a meeting ; that on her return her husband 
lid not discover it. In answer to the judge, she said her 
it were a little sore, but not her hands ; nor was she 

the testimony upon oath in Gardiner's England's 
vance. 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

dirty. Upon promise of a reward she had made it known. 
The judge directed an acquittal, ascribing the evidence 
to a dream, but did not punish the perjured wretch. 1 

Many of the poor creatures were subjected to cruel 
tortures, until they confessed anything that was suggested 
them. At length Sir Robert Filmer published an adver- 
tisement to the jurymen of England touching witches. 
In this he shows the difference between a Hebrew and 
.an English witch, and proves that the devil is the prin- 
cipal, and the witch only an accessary before the fact. 
Now, an accessary cannot be convicted before the prin- 
cipal is tried or outlawed upon summons for non-appear- 
ance ; that he could not be tried by his peers, who, if 
he could, would never convict him ; and that, by the 
rules of common law, the devil could neither be summoned 
nor outlawed, and therefore a witch could not be tried. 

As the people became enlightened, these cruel outrages 
became less frequent. Even Luther says " When I was 
& child there w r ere many witches, which bewitched both 
cattle and men, especially children. But now these things 
be not so commonly heard of, for the gospel thrusteth the 
devil out of his seat." 2 

It was reserved to Lord Chief Justice Holt to put an 
nd to witchcraft in England, which he most effectually 
accomplished, by ordering prosecutions against all prose- 

1 Strange and Terrible News from Cambridge proved to be 
A Lie. Small 4to. 

2 Corn, on Gal. v, 19. 



INTRODUCTION 



xvn 



>rs who pretended to have been bewitched. One was 
convicted, and, as an impostor, stood in the pillory ; and 
Lord Campbell adds "No female was ever after in 
danger of being hanged or burned for being old, wrinkled, 
or paralytic." 1 Soon after this, the laws against witch- 
craft were repealed, as a disgrace to the statutes of the 
realm. Thus ended witchcraft in England, after a long, 
brutal, sanguinary reign. Satan was despoiled of his 
power to carry old women through the air on broomsticks 
to his nocturnal assemblies, or of diverting himself with 
good people's butter, cheese, pigs and geese. 

The Rev. Walter Scott, in his Congregational Lecture, 
has entered with great skill into this difficult question, 
which can now be discussed without much fear of being 
branded with infidelity, "The existence and agency of 
evil spirits." The existence of good and evil spirits is 

merally admitted, but their agency is disputed. It 
quires no argument to prove that an immaterial invisible 

sing can neither be seen by day or night. Mr. Scott 
fully admits that a disordered imagination, or disease in 
the organs of vision, has often led mankind to a firm 
belief in that which never existed, and gives some very 
amusing instances of it, well authenticated. We know 
from divine revelation, that an impassable barrier, a great 
gulf, is fixed between this world and that of departed 

)irits impenetrable to either side. 2 Which is the infidel : 

1 Lives of Justices, ii, 170. 

2 See page 150. 




xviii INTRODUCTION 

he who believes this solemn portion of holy writ, or he 
who believes it not ? 

A desire to pry into futurity to be wise above what is 
written, has been interwoven into fallen nature. The 
Almighty, by the wisest of men, has told us that " man 
knoweth not that which shall be." 1 This is reiterated by 
the inspired apostle " Ye know not what shall be on the 
morrow." 2 Universal experience proves that foreknow- 
ledge is limited to the Most High ; yet man is so exceed- 
ingly weak and wicked as to apply to vagabond fortune- 
tellers or conjurors, and thus prove his faith in the promise 
made by the father of lies, " Ye shall be as gods." To this 
evil spirit we owe all that craft, deception and robbery 
displayed by conjurors and wizards. Man has all the fore- 
knowledge that he needs, in Job iv, 8, and Gal. vi., 7, 8, 9. 

If such learned and pious men as Dr. Preston and 
Judge Hale were carried away by the popular delusions, 
we may bear with Dr. Mather, more especially as he was 
one of the first divines who discovered that many very 
strange events, which were considered preternatural, had 
occurred in the course of nature or by deceitful juggling ; 8 
that the devil could not speak English, 4 nor 'prevail with 
Protestants f the smell of herbs alarms the devil ; 6 that 
medicine drove out Satan ! 7 



1 Ecc. viii, 7. 4 Page 142. 

2 James iv, 14. 5 Page 144. 

3 Pp. 132138. * Page 180. 

7 Page 186. 



INTRODUCTION 



xix 



All the narratives, many of which are deeply affecting, 
bear the evidence of a truthful conviction on the part of 
the relators ; but most of them were handed down, doubt- 
less with some embellishments. They are arranged in 
methodical order, and form a very amusing volume, 
more especially as it conveys a faithful portrait of the 
state of society, when the doctrine of a peculiar providence 
And of personal intercourse between this world and that 
which is unseen was fully believed. 

We are bound to admire the accuracy and beauty of 
this specimen of typography. Following in the path of 
my late friend William Pickering, our publisher rivals 
the Aldine and. Elzevir presses, which have been so uni- 
versally admired. May every success attend his efforts. 

GEORGE OFFOR. 



Dec. 1, 1855. 




THE PREFACE. 



BOUT six-and-twenty years ago, a Design for- 
the Recording of Illustrious Providences was 
under serious consideration among some emi- 
nent ministers in England and in Ireland, 
t motion was principally set on foot by the learned 
r. Matthew Poole, whose Synopsis Critieorum, and 
other books by him emitted, have made him famous in the 
world. But before any thing was brought to eifect, the 
persons to have been employed had their thoughts diverted 
another way; nevertheless there was a MS. (the com 
poser whereof is to me unknown) then written, wherein 
the subjects proper for this record, and some rules for the 
better managing a design of this nature, are described. 
In that MS. I find notable stories related and attested, 
which elsewhere I never met with, particularly the story 
Mr. Earl of Colchester, and another mentioned in 
subsequent essay. And besides those, there are some 

b 




THE PREFACE 

very memorable passages written, which have not as yet 
been published, so far as I understand. There are in that 
MS. several remarkables about apparitions : e. g. it is 
there said that Dr. Frith (who was one of the prebends 
belonging to Windsor), lying on his bed, the chamber 
doors were thrown open, and a corps, with attending 
torches, brought to his bed-side upon a bier the corps 
representing one of his own family. After some pause 
there was such another shew, till he, the said doctor, his 
-wife and all his family, were brought in on the bier in 
such order as they all soon after died. The doctor was 
not then sick, but quickly grew melancholly, and would, 
rising at midnight, repair to the graves and monuments at 
Eton CoLLedge, saying that he and his must shortly take 
up their habitation among the dead. The relater of this 
story (a person of great integrity) had it from Dr. Frith's 
son, who also added, " My fathers vision is already exe- 
cuted upon all the family but myself ; my time is next, 
and near at hand." 

In the mentioned MS. there is also a marvelous relation 
concerning a young Scholar in France; for it is there 
affirmed, that this prophane student, having by extrava- 
gant courses outrun his means, in his discontent walking 
solitarily, a man came to him, and enquired the cause of 
his sadness; which he owning to be want of money, had 
presently a supply given him by the other. That being 
quickly consumed upon his lusts, as soon as his money 
was gone, his discontent returned ; and in his former walk 



THE PREFACE 

he met with his former reliever, who again offered to 
supply him, but askt him to contract with him to be his, 
and to sign the contract with his blood. The woful wretch 
consented ; but not long after, considering that this con- 
tract was made with the devil, the terrors of his con- 
science became insupportable, so as that he endeavoured 
to kill himself to get out of them. Some ministers, and 
other Christians, being informed how matters were circum 
stanced, kept dayes of prayer for him and with him ; and 
he was carefully watched that so he might be kept from 
self-murder. Still he continued under terror, and said he 
should do so, as long as the covenant which he had signed 
remained in the hands of the devil. Hereupon the minis- 
ters resolve to keep a day of fasting and prayer in that 
very place of the field were the distressed creature had 
made the woful bargain, setting him in the midst of them. 
Thus they did ; and being with special actings of faith 
much enlarged to pray earnestly to the Lord to make 
known his power over Satan, in constraining him to give 
up that contract ; after some hours continuance in prayer, 
a cloud was seen to spread itself over them ; and out of it 
the very contract signed with the poor creatures blood was 
dropped down amongst them ; which being taken up and 
viewed, the party concerned took it and tore it in pieces. 
The relator had this from the mouth of Mr. Beauniond } 
a minister of note at Caen in Normandy, who assured 
him that he had it from one of the ministers that did 
assist in carrying on the day of prayer when this meino- 



THE PREFACE 

rable providence hapned. NOT is the relation impossible 
to be true ; for Luther speaks of a providence, not unlike 
unto this, which hapned in his congregation. 

This MS. doth also mention some most remarkable 
judgments of God upon sinners, as worthy to be recorded 
for posterity to take notice of. It is there said, that when 
Mr. Richard Juxon was a fellow of Kings Colledge in 
Cambridge, he led a most vicious life ; and whereas such 
of the students as were serious in matters of religion did 
endeavour, by solemn fasting and prayer, to prepare them- 
selves for the communion which was then (this was about 
the year 1636) on Easter-Day. This Juxon spent all the 
time of preparation in drunken wild meetings, and was up 
late and drunk on the Saturday night. Nevertheless, on 
the Lords Day, he came with others to the communion, 
and sat next to the relater, who, knowing his disorder 
the night before, was much troubled, but had no remedy, 
Church-discipline not being then so practised as ought to 
have been. The Communion being ended, such of the 
scholars as had the fear of God in their hearts, repaired 
to their closets. But this Juxon went immediately to a 
drunken meeting, and there to a cockfight, where he fell 
to his accustomed madness, and pouring out a volley of 
oaths and curses; while these were between his lips, God 
smote him dead in the twinkle of an eye. And though 
Juxon were but young, and of a comely person, his car- 
case was immediately so corrupted as that the stench of 
it was insufferable, insomuch that no house would receive 



THE PREFACE 



THE PREFACE 

dence that there is a God who judgeth in the earth, and 
who, though he stay long, will not be mocked alwayes." 

I shall say no more concerning the MS. only that 
it was sent over to Reverend Mr. Davenport by (as I 
suppose) Mr. Hartlib. How it came to lie dormient in 
his hands I know not ; though I had the happiness of 
special intimacy with that worthy man, I do not remem- 
ber that ever I heard him speak any thing of it. But 
since his death, looking over his MSS. I met with this, 
and communicated it to other ministers, who highly ap- 
proved of the noble design aimed at therein. Soon after 
which, some proposals, in order to the reviving of this 
work, were drawn up, and presented at a general meeting 
of the ministers in this colony, May 12, 1681, which it 
may not be unsuitable here to recite. 

" Some Proposals concerning the Recording of Illustrious 
Providences. 

"I. In order to the promo ving of a design of this 
nature, so as shall be indeed for Gods glory and the good 
of posterity, it is necessary that utmost care shall be taken 
that all and only Remarkable Providences be recorded and 
published. 

"II. Such Divine judgements, tempests, floods, earth- 
quakes, thunders as are unusual, strange apparitions, or 
whatever else shall happen that is prodigious, witchcrafts, 
diabolical possessions, remarkable judgements upon noted 



THE PREFACE 

sinners, eminent deliverances, and answers of prayer, are 
to be reckoned among illustrious providences. 

" III. Inasmuch as we find in Scripture, as well as in 
ecclesiastical history, that the ministers of God have been 
improved in the recording and declaring the works of the 
Lord, and since they are in divers respects under peculiar 
advantages thereunto, it is proposed, that each one in 
that capacity may diligently enquire into and record such 
illustrious providences as have hapned, or from time to- 
time shall happen, in the places whereunto they do 
belong ; and that the witnesses of such notable occurrents 
be likewise set down in writing. 

" IV. Although it be true that this design cannot be 
brought into perfection in one or two years, yet it is much 
to be desired that something may be done therein out of 
hand, as a specimen of a more large volume, that so this 
work may be set on foot, and posterity may be encouraged 
to go on therewith. 

" V. It is therefore proposed that the elders may con- 
curre in desiring some one that hath leisure and ability for 
the management of such an undertaking, with all conve- 
nient speed to begin therewith. 

"VI. And that, therefore, other elders do without delay 
make enquiry concerning the remarkable occurrents that 
have formerly fallen out, or may fall out hereafter, where 
they are concerned, and transmit them unto the aforesaid 
person, according to the directions above specified, in 
order to a speedy publication. 



THE PREFACE 

" VII. That notice be given of these proposals unto our 
brethren, the elders of the neighbour colonies, that so we 
may enjoy their concurrence and assistance herein. 

" VIII. When any thing of this nature shall be ready 
for the presse, it appears on sundry grounds very expe- 
dient that it should be read and approved of at some 
meeting of the elders, before publication." 

These things being read and considered, the author of 
this essay was desired to begin the work which is here 
done ; and I am engaged to many for the materials and 
informations which the following collections do consist of. 
It is not easie to give an account of things, and yet no cir- 
cumstantial mistakes attend what shall be related. NOT 
dare I averr that there are none such in what follows ; 
only I have been careful to prevent them ; and as to the 
substance of each passage, I am well assured it is accord- 
ing to truth. That rare accident about the lightning, 
which caused a wonderful change in the compasses of a 
vessel then at sea, was as in the book expressed, pages 
91, 92 only it is uncertain whether they were then 
exactly in the latitude of 38, for they had not taken an 
observation for several dayes; but the master of the vessel 
affirms that to be the latitude so near as they could con- 
jecture. Since the needle was changed by the lightning, 
if a lesser compass be set over it, the needle therein (or 
any other touched with the loadstone) will alter its polarity, 
and turn about to the south, as I have divers times to 



THE PREFACE 

my great admiration experimented. There is near the 
north point a dark spot, like as if it were burnt with a 
drop of brimstone, supposed to be caused by the lightning. 
Whether the magnetic impressions on that part of the 
needle being dissipated by the heat of the lightning, and 
the effluvia on the south end of the needle only remaining 
untouched thereby, be the true natural reason of the mar- 
velous alteration, or whether it ought to be ascribed to 
some other cause, the ingenious may consider. 

There is another remarkable passage about lightning 
which hapned at Duxborough, in New England, concerning 
which I have lately received this following account : 

September 11, 1653 (being the Lords Day), there were 
small drizling showers, attended with some seldome and 
scarce perceivable rumbling thunders, until towards the 
evening; at what time, Mr. Constant South worth of 
Duxbury returning home after evening exercise, in com- 
pany with some neighbours, discoursing of some extraordi- 
nary thunder-claps with lightning, and the awful effects 
and consequents thereof, being come into his own house 
(there were present in one room, himself, his wife, two 
children, viz. Thomas, he was afterwards drowned, and 
Benjamin, he was long after this killed by the Indians, 
with Philip Delano, a servant), there broke perpendicularly 
over the said house and room a most awful and amazing 
clap of thunder, attended with a violent flash, or rather 
flame of lightning, which brake and shivered one of the 
needles of the katted or wooden chimney, carrying divers 






THE PREFACE 

splinters seven or eight rods distance from the house, It 
filled the room with smoke and flame ; and set fire in the 
thatch of a lean-to which was on the back-side of a room 
adjoyning to the former, in which the rive persons above 
mentioned were. It melted some pewter, so that it ran 
into drops on the outside, as is often seen on tin ware ; 
melted round holes in the top of a fire-shovel proportion- 
able in quantity to a small goose-shot ; struck Mrs. 
South worths arm so that it was for a time benummed ; 
smote the young child Benjamin in his mothers arms, de- 
prived it of breath for a space, and to the mothers appre- 
hension squeased it as flat as a planck ; smote a dog stone 
dead which lay within two foot of Philip Delano ; the dog 
never moved out of his place or posture in which he was 
when smitten, but giving a small yelp, and quivering with 
his toes, lay still, blood issuing from his nose or mouth. 
It smote the said Philip, made his right arm senseless for 
a time, together with the middle finger in special (of his 
right hand), which was benummed, and turned as white as 
chalk or lime, yet attended with little pain. After some 
few hours, that finger began to recover its proper colour at 
the knuckle, and so did gradually whiten unto its extre- 
mity ; and although the said Delano felt a most violent 
heat upon his body, as if he had been scorched in the 
midst of a violent burning fire, yet his clothes were not 
singed, neither had the smell of fire passed thereon. 

I could not insert this story in its proper place, because 
I received it after that chapter about thunder and 



THE PREFACE 

lightning was printed. Some credible persons, who have 
been eye-witnesses of it, inform me that the lightning in 
that house at Duxborough, did with the vehemency of its 
flame, cause the bricks in the chimney to melt like molten 
lead : which particular was as remarkable as any of the 
other mentioned in the narrative, and therefore I thought 
good here to add it. 

In this essay I design no more than a specimen ; and 
having (by the good hand of God upon me) set this wheel 
a going, I shall leave it unto others, whom God has fitted 
and shall incline thereto, to go on with the undertaking. 

Some digressions I have made in distinct chapters, 
handling several considerable Cases of Conscience, sup- 
posing it not unprofitable or improper so to do, since the 
things related gave the occasion. Both leisure and exer- 
cise of judgement are required in the due performance of 
a service of this nature. There are some that have more 
leisure, and many that have greater abilities, than I have : 
I expect not tnat they should make my method their stan- 
dard ; but they may follow a better of their own, as they 
shall see cause. The addition of parallel stories is both 
pleasing and edifying ; had my reading and remembrance 
of things been greater, I might have done more that way, 
as I hope others will in the next essay. 

I could have mentioned some very memorable passages 
of Divine Providence, wherein the countrey in general hath 
been concerned : some remarkables of that kind are to be 
seen in my former relations of the troubles occasioned by 



THE PREFACE 

the Indians in New-England. There are other particulars 
no less worthy to be recorded, but in my judgement this 
is not so proper a season for us to divulge them. It has 
been in my thoughts to publish a discourse of Miscellaneous 
Observations concerning Things Rare and Wonderful, both 
as to the Works of Creation and Providence, which in 
my small readings I have met with in many authors ; but 
this must suffice for the present. I have often wished that 
the Natural History of New-England might be written and 
published to the world ; the rules and method described 
by that learned and excellent person Robert Boyle, Esq., 
being duely observed therein. It would best become some 
scholar that has been born in this land to do such a 
service for his countrey. Nor would I myself decline to 
put my hand (so far as my small capacity will reach) to so 
noble an undertaking, did not manifold diversions and em- 
ployments prevent me from attending that which I should 
account a profitable recreation. I have other work upon 
me which I would gladly finish before I leave the world, 
and but a very little time to do it in. Moreover, not 
many years ago, I lost (and that's an afflictive loss indeed !) 
several moneths from study by sickness. Let every God- 
fearing reader joyii with me in prayer, that I may be 
enabled to redeem the time, and (in all wayes wherein I 
am capable), to serve my generation. 

INCREASE MATHER. 
Boston in New-England, 
January 1, 168f. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

TAGK 

OF REMARKABLE SEA-DELIVERANCES. Mr. Anthony 
Tliachers relation concerning Ms and his wife's being 
marvellously preserved alive, when all the ship's com- 
pany perished. The wonderful preservation of Major 
Gibbons and his company. Several other remarkable 
sea-deliverances mentioned by Mr. Janeway, wherein 
New England men were concerned. Mr. Grafton's 
preservation. A vessel lately coming from Bristol for 
New England saved out of great distress at sea. Some 
providentially met with by a New England vessel in an 
open boat, many leagues off from any shore^ strangely 
preserved. An account of a remarkable sea-deliverance 
which happened this present year. Another like unto 
it which happened above tiventy years ago .... 1 

CHAPTER II. 

FURTHER ACCOUNT OF SOME OTHER REMARKABLE 

PRESERVATIONS. Of a child that had part of her 
brains struck ouf, and yet lived and did well. Remark- 
able deliverances of some in Windsor. Of several in 
the late Indian War. The relation of a captive. 
Skipper How's memorable preservation. Several ex- 
amples somewhat parallel wherein others in other parts 
of the world were concerned . , 23 

CHAPTER III. 

)NCERNING REMARKABLES ABOUT THUNDER AND 
LIGHTNING. One at Salisbury in New England struck 
dead thereby. Several at Marshfield. One at North- 
Hampton. The captain of the castle in Boston. Some 
remarkables about lightning in Rocksborough, Wenham, 
Marble-head, Cambridge. And in several vessels at 



CONTENTS 

PAOI 

sea. Some late parallel instances. Of several in the 
last century. Scripture examples of men slain by light- 
ning 51 

CHAPTER IV. 

SOME PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. Concerning Anti- 
pathies and Sympathies. Of the loadstone. Of the 
nature and wonderful effects of lightning. That 
thunder storms are often caused by Sata?i, and 
sometimes by good angels. Thunder is the voice of 
God, and, therefore, to be dreaded. All places in the 
habitable world are subject to it, moi*e or less. No 
amulets can preserve men from being hurt thereby. 
The miserable estate of wicked men upon this account, 
and the happiness of the righteous, who may be above 
all disquieting fears with respect unto such terrible 
accidents 70 

CHAPTER V. 

CONCERNING THINGS PRETERNATURAL WHICH HAVE 
HAPNED IN NEW ENGLAND. A remarkable relation 
about Ann Cole, of Hartford. Concerning several 
witches in that Colony. Of the possessed maid at 
Groton. An account of the house in Newberry lately 
troubled with a daemon. A parallel story of an house 
at Tedworth, in England. Concerning anotli er in Hart- 
ford. And of one in Portsmouth, in New England, 
lately disquieted by evil spirits. 1 he relation of a 
woman at Barwick, in Neiv England, molested with 
apparitions, and sometimes tormented by invisible 
agents 96 

CHAPTER VI. 

THAT THERE ARE DEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 
Signs of such. Some mad men are really possessed, 
notwithstanding many fabulous stories about witch- 
crafts. That there are witches proved by three argu- 
ments. That houses are sometimes troubled by evil 
spirits. Witchcraft often the cause of it. Sometimes 



CONTENTS. 

PAGX 

by the devil without witchcraft. Ordered by Providence 
as punishment for sin. The disturbance in Wallons 
house further considered, with a parallel story. That 
the things related in the preceding chapter were un- 
doubtedly prceternatural and diabolical . . . . 119 
CHAPTER VII. 

CONCERNING APPARITIONS. They are not so frequent in 
placeswh+re the Gospel prevailetli as in the dark corners 
of the earth. That good angels do sometimes visibly 
appear. Confirmed by several histories. That caco- 
dcemons oftentimes pretend to be good angels. That 
Satan may appear in the likeness of holy men, proved 
by notable instance*. Concerning the appearance of 
persons deceased. The procuring cause thereof is usually 
some sin committed. Some late remarkable examples. 
Of mem covenanting to appear after their death. It is 
an heavy judgement ivhen places are infested with such 

doleful spectres 143 

CHAPTER VIII. 

SEVERAL CASES OF CONSCIENCE CONSIDERED. That it is 
not laicful to make use of herbs or plants to drive away 
evil spirits; nor of words or characters. An objection 
answered. Whether it be lawful for persons bewitched 
to burn things, or to nail horse-shoes before their doors, 
or to stop urin in bottles, or the like, in order to the 
recovery of health. The negative proved by several 
arguments. Whether it be lawful to try witches by 
casting them info the water. Several reasons evincing 
the vanity of that wav of probation. Some other super- 
stitions witnessed against 176 

CHAPTER IX. 

DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS. A strange relation of a woman 
in Wey mouth in New- England that has been dumb and 
deaf ever since she was three years old,who,nevertheless, 
hat a competent knowledge in the mysteries of religion, 
and is admitted to trie sacrament. Some parallel in- 
stances. Of way en to teach those that are naturally 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

(ha/and dumb to speak. Another relation of a man in 
Hull in New-England, under whose tongue a stone bred. 
Concerning that peirification ichich humane bodies are 
subject unto. That plants and diverse sorts of animals 
have sometimes bi-ed in the bodies of men . . . 205 
CHAPTER X. 

OF REMARKABLE TEMPESTS, ETC., IN NEW-ENGLAND. 
A remark upon the hurricane, anno 1635. A remark- 
able accident by a sudden freezing of rain, in the year 
1659. A strange whirl-ivind in Cambridge, 1680. 
Another in New-Haven Colony, 1682, Another at 
Springfield. Some parallel instances. Of earthquakes 
in this countrey. Land wonderfully removed. Parallel 
stories. Of remarkable floods this year, not only in 
New-England, but in other parts of the world. An 
account of a prodigious flood in France five years ago, 
with conjectures concerning the natural reason of it 220 
CHAPTER XI. 

CONCERNING REMARKABLE JUDGEMENTS. Quakers judi- 
cially plagued with spiritual judgements. Of several 
sad instances in Long Island and in Plimouth Colony. 
That some of the Quakers are really possessed with 
infernal spirits proved by a late wonderful example of 
one at Balshan/, near Cambridge in England. Of 
several who imprecated vengeance upon themselves. 
The icoful end of drunkards ; and of those that have 
designed evil against the Churches of Christ in New- 

England 239 

CHAPTER XII. 

AN ACCOUNT OP SOME REMARKABLES AT NORWICH IN 
NEW-ENGLAND. Special answers of prayer made in 
that place. That people marvellously preserved. The 
scandalous miscarriage of one so over-ruled by Pro- 
vidence, as to be an occasion of the conversion of several 
others. A further account of some pei'sonal deliverances 
in Norwich. Concerning sudden deaths whic]/ have 
hapned in New-England 256 



REMARKABLE 

PROVIDENCES 



CHAPTER I. 

OF REMARKABLE SEA DELIVERANCES. 

Mr. Anthony Thacher's relation concerning his and his wife's being mar- 
vellously preserved alive, when all the ship's company perished. The 
wonderful preservation of Major Gibbons and his company. Several 
other remarkable sea-deliverances mentioned by Mr. Janeway, wherein 
New England men were concerned. Mr, Graftoii's preservation. A 
vessel lately coming from Bristol for New England saved out of great 
distress at sea. Some providentially met with by a New England vessel 
in an open boat, many leagues off from any shore, strangely preserved. 
An account of a remarkable sea-deliverance which happened this present 
rear. Another like unto it which happened above twenty years ago. 

royal pen of the prophet David hath most 
truly affirmed, "that they who go down to the 
sea in ships, that do business in great waters, 
see the works of the Lord, and his wonders 
iii the deep." And, in special, they see wonders of Divine 
goodness in respect of eminent deliverances wrought 
by the hand of the Most High, who stills the noise 
of the seas, the noise of their waves. It is meet that 
such providences should be ever had in remembrance, as 
most of all by the persons concerned in them, so by others, 
that the God of Salvation, who is the confidence of them 
that are afar off upon the sea, may have eternal praise. 

1 




2 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

Many remarkable stories of this kind are to be seen in books 
already published : e.g. in Mandelslo's Travels; Hackluyt 
and Linschoten's Voyages ; "Wanley's History ; Caussin's 
Holy Court ; Mr. Burton's Treatises, lately printed ; and 
in Mr. Janeway's Sea Deliverances. I shall in this 
chapter confine myself unto things which have happened 
either in New England, or wherein New England vessels 
have been concerned. We shall begin with that remarkable 
sea-deliverance which Mr. Anthony Thacher did experience 
at his first coming to New England. A full and true 
relation whereof I find in a letter directed to his brother, 
Mr. Peter Thacher, then a faithful minister of Christ in 
Sarum in England (he was father to my worthy dear friend, 
Mr. Thomas Thacher, late pastor of one of the churches in 
this Boston). This letter of Mr. Anthony Thacher to his 
brother, being written within a few days after that eminent 
providence happened unto him, matters were then fresh in 
his memory; I shall, therefore, here insert his narrative 
in his own words, who expresseth himself as followeth : 

"I must turn my drowned pen and shaking hand to 
indite the story of such sad news as never before this 
happened in New England. There was a league of per- 
petual friendship between my cousin Avery (note that this 
Mr. Avery was a precious holy minister, who came out of 
England with Mr. Anthony Thacher) and myself never to 
forsake each other to the death, but to be partakers of 
each others misery or welfare, as also of habitation in the 
same place. Now, upon our arrival in New England, 
there was an offer made unto us. My Cousin Avery was 
invited to Marble-head, to be their pastor in due time ; 
there being no church planted there as yet, but a town 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 3 

appointed to set up the trade of fishing. Because many 
there (the most being fishermen) were something loose and 
remiss in their behaviour, my Cousin Avery was unwilling 
to go thither, and so refusing we went to Newbery, 
intending there to sit down. But being solicited so often, 
both by the men of the place and by the magistrates, and 
by Mr. Cotton and most of the ministers, who alleged 
what a benefit we might be to the people there, and also 
to the country and commonwealth : at length we embraced 
it, and thither consented to go. They of Marble-head 
forthwith sent a pinnace for us and our goods. We em- 
barked at Ipswich, August 11, 1635, with our families 
and substance, bound for Marble-head, we being in all 
twenty-three souls, viz., eleven in my cousin's family, 
seven in mine, and one Mr. William Eliot, sometimes 
of New Sarum, and four mariners. The next morning, 
having commended ourselves to God, with cheerful hearts 
we hoisted sail ; but the Lord suddenly turned our cheer- 
fulness into mourning and lamentations; for on the 14th 
of this August, 1635, about ten at night, having a fresh 
gale of wind, our sails being old and done, were split. The 
mariners, because that it was night, would not put to new 
sails, but resolved to cast anchor till the morning. But 
before daylight it pleased the Lord to send so mighty a 
)rm, as the like was never known in New England since 
English came, nor in the memory of any of the Indians, 
was so furious that our anchor came home. Where- 
>on the mariners let out more cable, which at last slipped 
iy. Then our sailors knew not what to do, but we 
ire driven before the wind and waves. My cousin and 
perceived our danger, solemnly recommended ourselves to 
God, the Lord both of earth and seas, expecting with every 

la 



4: REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

wave to be swallowed up and drenched in the deeps. And 
as my cousin, his wife, and my tender babes, sat comforting 
and cheering one the other in the Lord against ghastly 
death, which every moment stared us in the face, and sat 
triumphing upon each one's forehead, we were by the vio- 
lence of the waves and fury of the winds (by the Lord's 
permission), lifted up upon a rock between two high rocks, 
yet all was one rock, but it raged with the stroke which 
came into the pinnace, so as we were presently up to our 
middles in water as we sat. The waves came furiously and 
violently over us, and against us ; but by reason of the 
rock's proportion could not lift us off, but beat her all to 
pieces. jNow look with me upon our distress, and consider 
of my misery, who beheld the sliip broken, the water in 
her, and violently overwhelming us, my goods and provi- 
sions swimming in the seas, my friends almost drowned, 
and mine own poor children so untimely (if I may so term 
it without offence), before mine eyes drowned, and ready 
to be swallowed up, and dashed to pieces against the rocks 
by the merciless waves, and myself ready to accompany 
them. But I must go on to an end of this woful relation. 
In the same room whereas he sat, the master of the pin- 
nace not knowing what to do, our foremast was cut down, 
our mainmast broken in three pieces, the fore part of the 
pinnace beat away, our goods swimming about the seas, 
my children bewailing me, as not pitying themselves, and 
myself bemoaning them : poor souls, whom I had occa- 
sioned to such an end in their tender years, when as they 
could scarce be sensible of death. And so likewise my 
cousin, his wife, and his children, and both of us bewailing 
each other, in our Lord and only Saviour Jesus Christ, in 
whom only we had comfort and cheerfulness, insomuch 



SKA DELIVERANCES. 5 

that from the greatest to the least of us, there was not one 
screech or outcry made, but all as silent sheep were con- 
tentedly resolved to die together lovingly, as since our 
acquaintance we had lived together friendly. Now as I 
was sitting in the cabin-room door, with my body in the 
room, when lo ! one of the sailors, by a wave, being washed 
out of the pinnace was gotten in again, and coming in to 
the cabin-room over my back, cried out, 'We are all cast 
away ! the Lord have mercy upon us ! I have been washed 
overboard into the sea, and am gotten in again ! ' His 
speeches made me look forth. And looking towards the 
sea, and seeing how we were, I turned myself to my cousin 
and the rest, and spake these words : ' Oh, cousin ! it hath 
pleased God to cast us here between two rocks, the shore 
not far off from us, for I saw the tops of trees when I looked 
forth.' Whereupon the master of the pinnace looking up 
at the scuttle-hole of the quarter-deck, went out at it, but 
I never saw him afterwards. Then he -that had been 
in the sea went out again by me, and leaped overboard 
towards the rocks, whom afterwards also I could not see. 
Now none were left in the barque that I knew or saw, but 
my cousin, his wife and children, myself and mine, and his 
maid-servant. But my cousin thought I would have fled 
from him, and said unto me ' Oh, cousin, leave us not, 
let us die together,' and reached forth his hand unto me. 
Then I, letting go my son Peter's hand, took him by the 
hand, and said ' Cousin, I purpose it not, whither shall I 
go 1 I am willing and ready here to die with you and my 
poor children. God be merciful to us, and receive us to 
himself,' adding these words, 'the Lord is able to help and 
deliver us.' He replied, saying 'Truth, cousin; but 
what his pleasure is we know not ; I fear we have been 
too unthankful for former deliverances, but he hath pro- 



6 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

inised to deliver us from sin and condemnation, and to 
bring us safe to heaven through the all-sufficient satisfac- 
tion of Jesus Christ, this therefore we may challenge of him. 
To which I replying, said, 'that is all the deliverance I now 
desire and expect.' Which words I had no sooner spoken, 
but by a mighty wave I was with the piece of the barque, 
washed out upon part of the rock, where the wave left me 
almost drowned, but recovering my feet I saw above me 
on the rock my daughter Mary, to whom I had no sooner 
gotten, but my cousin A very, and his eldest son came to 
us, being all four of us washed out by one and the same 
wave, we went all into a small hole on the top of the rock, 
whence we called to those in the pinnace, to come unto us, 
supposing we had been in more safety than they were in. 
My wife seeing us there, was crept into the scuttle of the 
quarter deck to come unto us, but presently came another 
wave, and dashing the pinnace all to pieces, carried my 
wife away in the scuttle, as she was, with the greater part 
of the quarter-deck unto the shore, where she was cast 
safely, but her legs were something bruised, and much 
timber of the vessel being there also cast, she was sometime 
before she could get away, being washed by the waves. 
All the rest that were in the barque were drowned in the 
merciless seas. We four, by that wave, were clean swept 
away from off the rock also, into the sea ; the Lord, in one 
instant of time, disposing of fifteen souls of us, according 
to His good pleasure and will; His pleasure and wonderful 
great merc} r to me, was thus : standing 011 the rock as 
before you heard with my eldest daughter, my cousin and 
his eldest son, looking upon and talking to them in the 
barque, when as we were by that merciless wave washed off 
the rock as before you heard. God in his mercy caused me 
to fall by the stroke of the wave, flat on my face, for my face 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 

was toward the sea, insomuch, that as I was sliding off the 
rock into the sea, the Lord directed my toes in to a joint in 
the rock's side, as also the tops of some of my fingers with 
.y right hand, by means whereof, the wave leaving me, 
remained so, having in the rock only my head above the 
water. When on the left hand I espied a board or plank 
of the pinnace ; and as I was reaching out my left hand to 
lay hold on it, by another coming over the top of the rock, 
I was washed away from the rock, and by the violence of 
the waves, was driven hither and thither in the seas a great 
while, and had many dashes against the rocks. At length, 
past hopes of life, and wearied in body and spirits, I even 
gave over to nature, and being ready to receive in the 
waters of death, I lifted up both my heart and hands to 
the God of heaven. For note, I had my senses remaining 
perfect with me all the time that I was under and in water, 
who at that instant lifted up my head above the top of the 
water, that so I may breathe without any hindrance by 
the waters. I stood bolt upright as if I had stood upon 
my feet, but 1 felt no bottom, nor had any footing for to 
stand upon, but the waters. While I was thus above the 
waters, I saw by me a piece of the mast, as I suppose 
about three feet long, which I laboured to catch into my 
arms. But suddenly I was overwhelmed with water, and 
driven to and fro again, and at last I felt the ground 
with my right foot. When immediately, whilst I was thus 
groveling on my face, I presently recovering my feet, was 
in the water up to my breast, and through God's great 
mercy had my face unto the shore, and not to the sea. I 
made haste to get out, but was thrown down on my hands 
with the waves, and so with safety crept to the dry shore. 
Where blessing God, I turned about to look for my 




8 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

children and friends, but saw neither, nor any part of the 
pinnace, where I left them as I supposed. But I saw my 
wife about a butt length from me, getting herself forth 
from amongst the timber of the broken barque ; but before 
I could get unto her, she was gotten to the shore ; I was 
in the water after I was washed from the rock, before I 
came to the shore, a quarter of an hour at least. When 
we were come to each other, we went and sat under the 
bank. But fear of the seas roaring, and our coldness, 
would not suffer us there to remain. But we went up into 
the land and sat us down under a cedar tree which the 
wind had thrown down, where we sat about an hour 
almost dead with cold. But now the storm was broken 
up, and the wind was calm, but the sea remained rough 
and fearful to us. My legs were much bruised, and so 
was my head, other hurt had I none, neither had I taken 
in much quantity of water ; but my heart would not let 
me sit still any longer, but I would go to see if any more 
were gotten to the land in safety, especially hoping to have 
met with some of my own poor children, but I could find 
none, neither dead nor yet living. You condole with me my 
miseries, who now began to consider of my losses. Now 
came to my remembrance the time and manner, how and 
when I last saw and left my children and friends. One 
was severed from me sitting on the rock at iny feet, the 
other three in the pinnace; my little babe (ah ! poor Peter) 
sitting in his sister Edith's arms, who to the uttermost of 
her power sheltered him from the waters, my poor William 
standing close unto them, all three of them looking rue- 
fully on me on the rock ; their very countenances calling 
unto me to help them, whom I could not go unto, neither 
could they come at me, neither would the merciless waves 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 

afford me space or time to use any means at all, either to 
help them or myself. Oh ! I yet see their cheeks, poor 
silent lambs, pleading pity and help at my hands. Then 
on the other side to consider the loss of my dear friends, 
with the spoiling and loss of all our goods and provisions, 
myself cast upon an unknown land, in a wilderness, I knew 
not where, nor how to get thence. Then it came to my 
mind how I had occasioned the death of my children, who 
caused them to leave their native land, who might have 
left them there, yea, and might have sent some of them 
back again, and cost me nothing : these and such like 
.oughts do press down my heavy heart very much. But 
must let this pa^s, and will proceed on in the relation of 
's goodness unto me in that desolate island 011 which I 
as cast. I arid my wife were almost naked, both of us, and 
et and cold even unto death. I found a knapsack cast 
on the shore, in which I had a steel and flint and powder 
horn. Going further I found a drowned goat, then I 
found a hat, and my son William's coat, both which 
I put on. My wife found one of her petticoats, which she 
put 011. I found also two cheeses and some butter, driven 
ashore. Thus the Lord sent us some clothes to put on, 
and food to sustain our new lives which we had lately 
given unto us; and means also to make fire, for in an 
horn I had some gunpowder, which to my own (and since 
to other men's) admiration was dry ; so taking a piece of 
my wife's neckcloth, which I dried in the sun, I struck 
and so dried and warmed our wet bodies, and then 
ed the goat ; and having found a small brass pot, we 
iled some of her. Our drink was brackish water ; 
we had none. There we remained till the Monday 
llowing. When about three of the clock, in the after- 




10 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

noon, in a boat that came that way, we went off that 
desolate island, which I named after my name, Thacher's 
Woe ; and the rock, Avery his Fall : to the end that their 
fall and loss, and mine own, might be had in perpetual 
remembrance. In the isle lieth buried the body of my 
cousin's eldest daughter, whom I found dead on the shore. 
On the Tuesday following, in the afternoon, we arrived at 
Marble-head." 

Thus far is Mr. Thacher's relation of this memorable 
providence. We proceed to some other : 

Remarkable was that deliverance mentioned both by 
Mr. Janeway and Mr. Burton, wherein that gallant com- 
mander, Major Edward Gibbons, of Boston, in New 
England, and others were concerned. The substance of 
the story is this : A New England vessel going from 
Boston to some other parts of America, was, through the 
continuance of contrary winds, kept long at sea, so that 
they were in very great straits for want of provision ; and 
seeing they could not hope for any relief from earth or sea, 
they apply themselves to heaven in humble and hearty 
prayers ; but no calm ensuing, one of them made this 
sorrowful motion, that they should cast lots, which of 
them should die first to satisfy the ravenous hunger of 
the rest. After many a sad debate, they come to a result, 
the lot is cast, and one of the company is taken, but 
where is the executioner to be found to act this office upon 
a poor innocent ? It is death now to think who shall act 
this bloody part in the tragedy. But before they fall 
upon this involuntary execution, they once more went 
unto their prayers ; and while they were calling upon 
God, he answered them, for there leaped a mighty fish 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 11 

into the boat, which was a double joy to them, not only 
in relieving their miserable hunger, which, no doubt, made 
them quick cooks, but because they looked upon it to be 
sent from God, and to be a token of their deliverance. 
But alas ! the fish is soon eaten, and their former exi- 
gencies come upon them, which sink their spirits into 
despair, for they know not of another morsel. To lot 
they go again a second time, which f alleth upon another 
person ; but still none can be found to sacrifice him : they 
again send their prayers to heaven with all manner of 
fervency, when, behold a second answer from above ! a 
great bird alights, and fixes itself upon the mast, which 
one of the company espies, and he goes, and there she 
stands till he took her with his hand by the wing. This 

as life from the dead a second time, and they feasted 

emselves herewith, as hoping that second providence 
was a forerunner of their complete deliverance. But they 

rve still the same disappointments ; they can see no land ; 

ey know not where they are. Hunger increaseth again 
upon them, and they have 110 hopes to be saved but by a 
third miracle. They are reduced to the former course of 
casting lots ; when they were going to the heart-breaking 

ork, to put him to death whom the lot fell upon, they 
to God, their former friend in adversity, by humble 
and hearty prayers ; and now they look and look again ; 
but there is nothing. Their prayers are concluded, and 
nothing appears, yet still they hoped and stayed till at 
last one of them espies a ship, which put new life into all 
their spirits. They bear up with their vessel, they man 
their boat, and desire and beg like perishing, humble sup- 

ficants to board them, which they are admitted. The 
sssel proves a French vessel yea, a French pirate. 



hai 





;: 



12 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

Major Gibbons petitions them for a little bread, and oiier.s 
ship and cargo for it. But the commander knows the 
Major (from whom he" had received some signal kindnesses 
formerly at Boston), and replied readily and cheerfully 
" Major Gibbons, not a hair of you or your company shall 
perish, if it lie in my power to preserve you." And 
accordingly he relieveth them, and sets them safe on shore. 

Memorable also is that which Mr. Janeway, in his 
Remarkable Sea Deliverances, p. 35, hath published. He 
there relates, that in the year 1668, a ketch, whereof 
Thomas Woodbery was master, sailing from New England 
for Barbadoes; when they came in the latitude 35 deg., 
because there was some appearance of foul weather, they 
lowered their sails, sending up one to the top of the mast, 
he thought he saw something like a boat floating upon 
the sea ; and calling to the men below, they made towards 
it, and when they came near, it appeared to be a long- 
boat with eleven men in it, who had been bound for 
Virginia ; but their ship proved leaky, and foundered in 
the sea, so that they were forced suddenly to betake them- 
selves to their long-boat, in the which they had a capstan- 
bar, which they made use of for a mast, and a piece of 
canvas for a sail, so did they sail before the wind. But 
they having no victuals with them, were soon in miserable 
distress. Thus they continued five days, so that all des- 
paired of life. Upon the sixth day they concluded to cast 
lots for their lives, viz., who should die, that the rest 
might eat him and have their lives preserved. He that the 
lot fell upon, begged for his life a little longer ; and being 
in their extremity, the wonder-working providence of God 
was seen, for they met with this New England vessel, 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 13 

which took them in and saved their lives. An hour after 
this a terrible storm arose, continuing forty hours, so that 
if they had not met the vessel that saved them in the 
nick of opportunity, they had all perished ! and if the 
New England men had not taken down some of their sails, 
or had not chanced to send one up to tallow the mast, this 
boat and men had never been seen by them. Thus admi- 
rable are the workings of Divine Providence in the world 
Yet further : 

That worthy and now blessed minister of God, Mr. 
James Janeway, hath published several other Remarkable 
Sea Deliverances, of which some belonging to New 
England were the subjects. He relates (and I am in- 
formed that it was really so) that a small vessel the 
master's name Philip Hungare coming upon the coast of 
New England suddenly sprang a leak, and so foundered. 
In the vessel there were eighteen souls, twelve of which 
got into the long-boat. They threw into the boat some 
small matters of provision, but were wholly without fire. 
These twelve men sailed five hundred leagues in this small 
boat, being by almost miraculous providences preserved 
therein for five weeks together. God sent relief to them 
by causing some flying-fish to fall into the boat, which 
they eat raw, and were well pleased therewith. They also 
caught a shark, and opening his belly, sucked his blood 
for drink. At the last the Divine Providence brought 
them to the West Indies. Some of them were so weak 
as that they soon died ; but most of them lived to declare 
the works of the Lord. 

Again, he relates that Mr. Jonas Clark, of New England 



H REMARKABLE PROV1DENGES. 

going for Virginia, the vessel was east ashore in the night. 
They hoped to get their ship off again ; to which end the 
master with some others going in the boat, when they 
were about sixty fathoms from the shore there arose a 
great sea, which broke in upon them, and at last turned 
the boat over. Four men were drowned. Mr. Clark was 
held under water till his breath was gone, yet, through 
the good hand of a gracious God, he was set at liberty, 
and was enabled to swim to the shore, where the provi- 
dence of God did so overrule the hearts of barbarians, as 
that they did them no hurt ; until at last they were 
brought safe unto the English plantations. These things 
have (as was said) been related by Mr. Janeway. I pro- 
ceed therefore to mention some other sea deliverances. 
And that notable preservation deserves to be here inserted 
and recorded, wherein Mr. John Grafton and some others 
of his ship's company were concerned ; who as they were 
bound in a voyage from Salem in New England, for the 
West Indies, in a ketch called the Providence, on Septem- 
ber 16, 1669, their vessel suddenly struck upon a rock; 
at the which they were amazed, it being then a dark and 
rainy night ; the force of the wind and sea broke their vessel 
in a moment. Their company was ten men in number, 
whereof six were drowned. The master and the mate 
were left upon the rock. As they sat there the sea came 
up to their waists. There did they embrace each other, 
looking for death every moment ; and if the tide had risen 
higher it would have carried them off. By the same 
rock was one of the seamen, being much wounded and 
grievously groaning. In the morning they saw an island 
about half a mile off from them. The rocks were so sharp 
and cragged that they could not tread upon them with 



wit: 

i 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 15 

their bare feet, nor had they shoes or stockings. But 
they found a piece of tarpauling, which they wrapped 
about their feet, making it fast with rope yarns ; so getting 
each of them a stick, they sometimes went on their feet, 
.and sometimes crept, until at last they came to the island, 
where they found another of their company ashore, being 
carried thither by a piece of the vessel. Upon the island 
they continued eight days, four of which they had no fire. 
Their provision was salt-fish and rain-water, which they 
found in the holes of the rocks. After four days they 
found a piece of touchwood, which the mate had formerly 
in his chest, and a piece of flint, with which, having a 
small knife, they struck fire. A barrel of flour being cast 
on shore, they made cakes thereof. Now their care was 
how to get off from the island, there being no inhabitants 
there. Finding a piece of the mainsail, and some hoops 
of cask, they framed a boat therewith. Yet had they no 
tools to build it with. But Providence so ordered, that 
they found a board twelve feet long, and some nails ; also 
a box was cast ashore, wherein was a bolt-rope needle ; 
they likewise found a tar-barrel, wherewith they tarred 
their canvas. Thus did they patch up a boat, in fashion 
e a birchen canoe ; and meeting with some thin boards 
ceiling, which came out of the cabin, they made paddles 
therewith ; so did they venture in this dangerous vessel 
ten leagues, until they came to Anguilla and St. Martin's, 
where they were courteously entertained, the people ad- 
miring how they could come so many leagues in such a 
strange kind of boat. Besides all these particulars, which 
have been declared, information is brought to me con- 
cerning some sea preservations which have happened more 
lately. 



10 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

There was a small vessel set sail from Bristol to 2S T ew 
England, September 22, 1681 ; the master's name William 
Dutten. There were seven men in the vessel, having on. 
board provisions for three months, but by reason of con- 
trary winds, they were twenty weeks before they could 
make any land ; and some unhappy accidents fell out, 
which occasioned their being put to miserable straits for 
victuals, but most of all for drink. The winds were fair 
and prosperous until October 28, when they supposed 
themselves to be gotten 600 leagues westward. But after 
that, the north-west winds blew so fiercely that they were 
driven off from the coast of New England, so that, De- 
cember 12, they concluded to bear away for Barbadoes. 
But before this, one of their barrels of beer had the head 
broken out, and the liquor in it lost. They had but seven 
barrels of water, three of which proved leaky, so that the 
water in them was lost. When their victuals failed, the 
providence of God sent them a supply, by causing dolphins 
to come near to the vessel ; and that still as their wants 
were greatest, nor could they catch more than would serve 
their present turn. But still their misery upon them was 
great, through their want of water. Sometimes they 
would expose their vessels to take the rain-water ; but 
oft, when it rained, the winds were so furious that they 
could save little or no rain ; yet so it fell out, that when 
they came near to the latitude of Bermudas they saved 
two barrels of rain-water, which caused no little joy 
amongst them. But the rats did unexpectedly eat holes 
through the barrels, so that their water was lost again. 
Once when a shower of rain fell they could save but a 
pint, which, though it was made bitter by the tar, it 
seemed very sweet to them. They divided this pint of 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 17 

rain-water amongst seven, drinking a thimbleful at a time r 
which went five times about, and was a great refreshing to 
them. On January 27, a good shower of rain fell ; that 
so they might be sure to save some water, and not be 
again deprived thereof by the rats, they laid their shirts 
open to the rain, and wringing them dry, they obtained 
seven gallons of water, which they put into bottles, and 
were, for a time, much refreshed thereby. But new 
straits come upon them. They endeavoured to catch the 
rats in the vessel, and could take but three or four, which 
they did eat, and it seemed delicate meat to their hungry 
souls. But the torment of their drought was insufferable.. 
Sometimes, for a week together, they had not one drop of 
fresh water. When they killed a dolphin they would open 
his belly and suck his blood, a little to relieve their thirst ; 
yea, their thirst was so great that they fell to drinking of 
salt water. Some drank several gallons, but they found 
that it did not allay their thirst. They greedily drank 
their own urine when they could make any. They would 
go overboard, with a rope fastened to their bodies, and 
put themselves into the water hoping to find some refresh- 
ment thereby. When any of them stood to steer the 
vessel, he would think a little to refresh himself by having 
his feet in a pail of sea-water. In this misery, some of 
the seamen confessed that it was just with God thus to 
afflict them, in that they had been guilty of wasting good 
drink, and of abusing themselves therewith before they 
came to sea. The divine Providence so ordered, that on 
February 7, they met with a vessel at sea, which happened 
to V,e a Guiiiy-man ; (Samuel Richard, master). Their 
boat was become leaky, that they could not go aboard, if it 
had been to save their lives ; but the master of the other 

2 



18 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

vessel understanding how it was with them, very cour- 
teously sent his own boat to them, with ten pieces of Guiny- 
beef, two ankors of fresh water, and four bushels of Guiny- 
corn, whereby they were sustained until they arrived at 
Barbadoes ; being weak and spent with their hardships, 
but within a fortnight they were all recovered, and came 
the next summer to New England. This account I re- 
ceived from the mate of the vessel, whose name is Joseph 
Butcher. 

Remarkable, also, is the preservation of which some 
belonging to Dublin, in Ireland, had experienced, whom a 
New England vessel providentially met, in an open boat, 
in the wide sea, and saved them from perishing. Con- 
cerning which memorable providence, I have received the 
following narrative : A ship of Dublin, burdened about 
seventy tons, Andrew Bennet, master, being bound from 
Dublin to Virginia : this vessel having been some weeks 
at sea, onward of their voyage, and being in the latitude 
of 39, about 150 leagues distant from Cape Cod, in New 
England, on April 18, 1681, a day of very stormy weather, 
and a great sea, suddenly there sprang a plank in the fore 
part of the ship, about six o'clock in the morning ; where- 
upon the water increased so fast in the ship, that all their 
endeavours could not keep her from sinking above half an 
hour; so when the ship was just sinking, some of the 
company resolved to launch out the boat, which was a 
small one : they did accordingly, and the master, the 
mate, the boatswain, the cook, two foremast men, and a 
boy, kept such hold of it, when a cast of the sea suddenly 
helped them off with it, that they got into it. The 
heaving of the sea now suddenly thrust them from the 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 19 

ship, in which there were left nineteen souls, viz., sixteen 
men and three women, who all perished in the mighty 
waters, while they were trying to make rafters by cutting 
down the masts, for the preservation of their lives, as 
long as might be. The seven in the boat apprehended 
themselves to be in a condition little better than that of 
them in the ship, having neither sails nor oars, neither 
bread nor water, and no instrument of any sort, except a 
knife and a piece of deal board, with which they made 
sticks, and set them up in the sides of the boat, and 
covered them with some Irish cloth of their own garments, 
to keep off the spray of the sea, as much as could be by 
so poor a matter. In this condition they drave with a 
hard wind and high sea all that day and the night follow- 
ing. But in the next morning, about six o'clock, they 
saw a ketch (the master whereof was Mr. Edmund Hen- 
field, of Salem, in New England) under sail, which ketch 
coming right with them, took them up and brought them 
safe to New England. And it is yet further remarkable, 
that when the ship foundered, the ketch which saved these 
persons was many leagues to the westward of her, but 
was, by a contrary wind, caused to stand back again to 
the eastward, where these distressed persons were, as 
hath been said, met with and relieved. 

Another remarkable sea-deliverance, like unto this last 
mentioned, happened this present year ; the relation 
whereof take as followeth : A ship called the Swallow, 
Thomas Welden, of London, master, on their voyage from 
St. Christopher's towards London, did, on March 23 last, 
being then about the latitude of 42, meet with a violent 
storm. That storm somewhat allayed, the ship lying in 

2a 



20 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

the trough of the sea, her rudder broke away ; whereupon 
the mariners veered out a cable, and part of a mast to 
steer by ; but that not answering their expectation, the}^ 
took a hogshead of water, and fastened it to the cable to 
steer the ship ; that also failing, they laid the ship by, as 
the seamen's phrase is. And on March 25 an exceeding 
great storm arose, which made the vessel lie down with 
her hatches under water, in which condition she continued 
about two hours : and having much water in the hold, 
they found no other way to make her rise again but 
by cutting down her masts ; and accordingly her mainmast 
and her niizenmast being cut down, the ship righted 
again. The storm continuing, on March '28 the ship 
made very bad steerage, by reason of the loss of her 
rudder and masts. The sea had continual passage over 
her, and one sea did then carry away the larboard quarter 
of the ship, and brake the side from the deck, so that 
there was an open passage for the sea to come in at that 
breach ; and, notwithstanding their endeavours to stop it 
with their bedding, clothes, &c., so much water ran in by 
the sides of the ship, that it was ready to sink. Now, all 
hopes of saving their lives being gone, the Divine Provi- 
dence so ordered, that there appeared a vessel within 
sight, which happened to be a French ship, bound from 
St. John de Luce to Grand Placentia, in Newfoundland ; 
this vessel took in the distressed Englishmen, and carried 
them away to Grand Placentia ; from whence the master 
and sundry of the mariners procured a passage in a ketch 
bound for Boston in New England. There did they 
arrive, June 21, 1683, declaring how they had seen the 
wonders of God in the deep, as hath been expressed. 



SEA DELIVERANCES. 21 

There was another memorable sea-deliverance like unto 
these two last. The persons concerned in it being now 
gone out of the world, I have not met with any who per- 
fectly remember the particular year wherein that remark- 
able providence happened ; only that it was about twenty- 
two years ago, when a ship (William Laiton, master), 
bound from Pascataqua, in New .England, to Barbadoes, 
being 250 leagues off from the coast, sprang a leak. 
They endeavoured what they could to clear her with their 
pump for fourteen hours. But the vessel filling with 
water, they were forced (being eight persons) to betake 
themselves to their boat, taking with them a good supply 
of bread and a pot of butter ; the master declaring that 
he was persuaded they should meet with a ship at sea 
that would relieve i/hem : but they had little water, so 
that their allowance was at last a spoonful in a day to 
each man. In this boat did they continue thus distressed 
for nineteen days together. After they had been twelve 
days from the vessel, they met with a storm which did 
very much endanger their lives, yet God preserved them. 
At the end of eighteen days a flying-fish fell into their 
boat, and having with them a hook and line, they made 
use of that fish for bait, whereby they caught two dolphins. 
A ship then at sea, whereof Mr. Samuel Scarlet was com- 
mander, apprehending a storm to be near, that so they 
might fit their rigging, in order to entertain the approach- 
ing storm, suffered their vessel to drive right before the 
wind, and by that means they happened to meet with this 
boat, full of distressed seamen. Captain Scarlet's vessel 
was then destitute of provision ; only they had on board 
water enough and to spare. When the mariners first saw 
the boat, they desired the master not to take the men in, 



22 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

because they had no bread nor other victuals for them ; so 
that by receiving eight more into their company, they 
should all die with famine. Captain Scarlet who as after 
he left using the sea, he gave many demonstrations, both 
living and dying, of his designing the good of others, and 
not his own particular advantage only, did at this time 
manifest the same spirit to be in him ; and therefore, would 
by no means hearken to the selfish suggestions of his men, 
but replied to them (as yet not knowing who they were) 
" It may be these distressed creatures are our own country- 
men, or if not, they are men in misery, and therefore, 
whatever come of it, I am resolved to take them in, and 
to trust in God, who is able to deliver us all." Nor did 
God suffer him to lose anything by this noble resolution. 
For as in Captain Scarlet's ship there was water which 
the men in the boat wanted, so they in the boat had bread 
and the two dolphins lately caught, whereby all the ship's 
company were refreshed. And within few days they all 
arrived safe in New England. 




CHAPTER IP. 




A FURTHER ACCOUNT OF SOME OTHER REMARKABLE 
PRESERVATIONS. 

Of a child that had part of her brains struck out, and yet lived and did well. 
Remarkable deliverances of some in Windsor. Of several in the late 
Indian War. The relation of a captive. Skipper How's memorable 
preservation. Several examples somewhat parallel wherein others in 
other parts of the world were concerned. 

ESIDES those notable Sea-Deliverances, which 
have been in the former chapter related, many 
other memorable providences and preserva- 
tions have happened. A multitude of in- 
stances to this purpose are now lost in the grave of obli- 
vion, because they were not recorded in the season of them. 
But such observables as I have been by good hands 
acquainted with, I shall here further relate. 

Remarkable was the preservation and restoration which 
the gracious providence of God vouchsafed to Abigail 
Eliot, the daughter of elder Eliot, of Boston, in New 
England; concerning whom, a near and precious relation 
of hers informs me, that when she was a child about five 
years old, playing with other children under a cart, an 
iron hinge, being sharp at the lower end, happened to strike 
her head, between the right ear and the crown of her head, 
and pierced into the skull and brain. The child making 
an outcry, the mother came, and immediately drew out the 




'24 



REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 



iron, and thereupon some of the brains of her child, which 
stuck to the iron, and other bits, were scattered on her 
forehead. Able chyrurgeons were sent for in special 
Mr. Oliver and Mr. Prat. The head being uncovered, there 
appeared just upon the place where the iron pierced the 
skull, a bunch as big as a small egg. A question arose, 
whether the skin should not be cut and dilated from the 
orifice of the wound to the swelling, and so take it away 
This Mr. Prat inclined unto, but Mr. Oliver opposed, 
pleading that then the air would get to the brain, and the 
child would presently die. Mr. Oliver was desired to 
undertake the cure ; and thus was his operation : He 
gently drove the soft matter of the bunch into the wound, 
and pressed so much out as well he could ; there came 
forth about a spoonful ; the matter which came forth was 
brains and blood (some curdles of brain were white and 
not stained with blood) : so did he apply a plaister. The 
skull wasted where it was pierced to the bigness of a half- 
crown piece of silver or more. The skin was exceeding 
tender, so that a silver plate, like the skull, was always 
kept in the place to defend it from any touch or injury. 
The brains of the child did swell and swage according to 
the tides : when it was spring-tide her brain would heave 
up the tender skin, and fill the place sometimes : when it 
was neap-tide, they would be sunk and fallen within the 
kull. This child lived to be the mother of two children; 
And (which is marvellous) she was not by this wound made 
defective in her memory or understanding. 

In the next place we shall take notice of some remark- 
able preservations which sundry in Windsor in New 
England have experienced ; the persons concerned therein 



PRESERVATIONS. 



25 



being desirous that the Lord's goodness towards them may 
be ever had in remembrance : wherefore a faithful hand 
has given me the following account : 

Jan. 13, 1670. Three women, viz., the wives of Lieut 
Filer, and of John Drake, and of Nathaniel Lomas, having 
crossed Connecticut river upon a necessary and neighbourly 
account, and having done the work they went for, were 
desirous to return to their own families, the river being at 
that time partly shut up with ice, old and new, and partly 
open. There being some pains taken aforehand to cut a 
way through the ice, the three women above said got into 
a canoe, with whom also there was Nathaniel Bissel and 
an Indian. There AVIS likewise another canoe with two 
men in it, that went before them to help them in case they 
should meet with any distress, which indeed quickly came 
upon them ; for just as they were getting out of the narrow 
passage between the ice, being near the middle of the 
river, a greater part of the upper ice came down upon 
them, and struck the end of their canoe, and broke it to 
pieces, so that it quickly sunk under them. The Indian 
speedily got upon the ice, but Nathaniel Bissel, and the 
above said women, were left floating in the middle of the 
river, being cut off from all manner of human help besides 
what did arise from themselves and the two men in the 
little canoe, which was so small that three persons durst 
seldom, if ever, venture in it. They were indeed discerned 
from one shore, but the dangerous ice would not admit 
from either si i ore one to come near them. All things thus 
circumstanced, the suddenness of the stroke and distress 
(which is apt to amaze men, especially when no less than 
life is concerned), the extreme coldness of the weather, it 
being a sharp season, that persons out of the water were 




26 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

in danger of freezing, the uiiaptness of the persons to help 
themselves, being mostly women, one big with child, and 
near the time of her travail (who was also carried away 
under the ice), the other as unskilled and inactive to do 
anything for self-preservation as almost any could be, the 
waters deep, that there was no hope of footing, no passage to 
either shore, in any eye of reason, neither with their little 
canoe, by reason of the ice, nor without it, the ice being 
thin and rotten, and full of holes. Now, that all should 
be brought off safely without the loss of life, or wrong to 
health, was counted in the day of it a Remarkable Provi- 
dence. To say how it was done is difficult, yet something 
of the manner of the deliverance may be mentioned. The 
above said Nathaniel Bissel, perceiving their danger, and 
being active in swimming, endeavoured, what might be, 
the preservation of himself and some others ; he strove to 
have swum to the upper ice, but the stream being too 
hard, he was forced downwards to the lower ice, where, by 
reason of the slipperiness of the ice, and disadvantage of 
the stream, he found it difficult getting up ; at length, by 
the good hand of Providence, being gotten upon the ice, 
he saw one of the women swimming down under the ice, 
and perceiving a hole, or open place, some few rods below, 
there he waited, and took her up as she swam along. The 
other two women were in the river, till the two men in the 
little canoe came for their relief ; at length all of them got 
their heads above the water, and had a little time to pause, 
though a long and difficult, and dangerous way to any 
shore ; but by getting their little canoe upon the ice, and 
carrying one at a time over hazardous places, they did 
(though in a long while) get all safe to the shore from 
whence they came. 



PRESERVATIONS. 27 

Remarkable also was the deliverance which John and 
Thomas Bissel, of Windsor aforesaid, did at another time 
receive. John Bissel, on a morning, about break of day, 
taking nails out of a great barrel, wherein was a consider- 
able quantity of gunpowder and bullets, having a candle in 
his hand, the powder took fire. Thomas bissel was then 
putting on his clothes, standing by a window, which 
though well fastened, was by the force of the powder 
carried away at least four rods ; the partition- wall from 
another room was broken in pieces ; the roof of the house 
opened and slipt off the plates about five feet down ; 
also the great girt of the house at one end broke out so 
far, that it drew from the summer to the end most of its 
tenant. The woman of the house was lying sick, and 
another woman under it in bed, yet did the divine Provi- 
dence so order things as that no one received any hurt, 
excepting John Bissel, who fell through two floors into a 
cellar, his shoes being taken from his feet, and found at 
twenty feet distance, his hands and his face very much 
scorched, without any other wound in his body. 

It would fill a volume to give an account of all the 
memorable preservations in the time of the late war with 
the Irdians. 

Remarkable was that which happened to Jabez Mus 
grove, of Newbery ; who, being shot by an Indian, the 
bullet entered in at his ear, and went out at his eye, on the 
other side of his head, yet the man was preserved from 
death, yea, and is still in the land of the living. 

Likewise several of those that were taken captive by the 
Indians are able to relate affecting stories concerning the 
gracious Providence of God, in carrying them through 



28 MEM A RKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

many dangers and deaths, and at last setting their feet in 
a, large place again. A worthy person hath sent me the 
account which one lately belonging to Deerfield (his name 
is Quintin Stockwell), hath drawn up respecting his own 
captivity and redemption, with the more notable occur- 
rences of Divine Providence attending him in his distress, 
which I shall, therefore, here insert in the words by himself 
expressed. He relateth as follows : 

"In the year 1677, September 19, between sunset and 
dark, the Indians came upon us, I and another man being 
together, we ran away at the outcry the Indians made, 
shouting and shooting at some other of the English that 
were hard by. We took a swamp that was at hand for our 
refuge. The enemy espying us so near them, ran after us, 
and shot many guns at us ; three guns were discharged 
upon me, the enemy being within three rods of me, besides 
many other, before that. Being in this swamp that was 
miry, I slumpt in, and fell down, whereupon one of the 
enemy stepped to me, with his hatchet lifted up to knock 
me on the head, supposing that I had been wounded, and 
so unfit for any other travel. I, as it happened, had a 
pistol by me, which, though uncharged, I presented to the 
Indian, who presently stepped back, and told me, if I would 
yield I should have no hurt ; he said (which was not true) 
that they had destroyed all Hatfield, and that the woods 
were full of Indians, whereupon I yielded myself, and so 
fell into the enemy's hands, and by three of them was led 
away unto the place whence first I began to make my flight, 
where two other Indians came running to us ; and the one 
lifting up the butt end of his gun to knock me on the head, 
the other with his hand put by the blow, and said I was 



^RESERVATIONS. 

his friend. I was now by my own house, which the 
Indians burned the last year, and I was about to build up 
again, and there I had some hopes to escape from them ; 
they had a horse just by, which they bid me take, I did so, 
but made no attempt to escape thereby, because the enemy 
was near, and the beast was slow and dull ; then was I in 
hopes they would send me to take my own horses, which 
they did, but they were so frightened that I could not 
come near to them, and so fell still into the enemy's hands, 
who now took me and- bound me, and led me away, and 
soon was I brought into the company of captives, that 
were that day brought away from Hatfield, which was about 
a mile off; and here methoughts was matter of joy and 
sorrow both, to see the company ; some company in this 
condition being some refreshing, though little help any 
ways. Then were we pinioned and led away in the night 
over the mountains, in dark and hideous ways, about four 
miles further, before we took up our place for rest, which 
was in a dismal place of wood, on the east side of that 
mountain. We were kept bound all that night ; the 
Indians kept waking, and we had little mind to sleep in 
this night's travel ; the Indians dispersed, and as they went, 
made strange noises, as of wolves and owls, and other wild 
beasts, to the end that they might not lose one another ; 
and if followed they might not be discovered by the English. 
" About the break of day, we marched again and got 
over the great river at Pecomptuck river mouth, and there 
rested about two hours. There the Indians marked out 
upon trays the number of their captives and slain as their 
manner is. Here was I again in great danger ; a quarrel 
arose about me, whose captive I was, for three took me. 
I thought I must be killed to end the controversy ; so 



30 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

when they put it to me, whose I was, I said three Indians 
took me, so they agreed to have all a share in me : and I 
had now three masters, and he was my chief master who 
laid hands on me first, and thus was I fallen into the hands 
of the very worst of all the company, as Ashpelon the 
Indian captain told me ; which captain was all along very 
kind to me, and a great comfort to the English. In this 
place they gave us some victuals, which they had brought 
from the Knglish. This morning also they sent ten men 
forth to town to bring away what they could find, some 
provision, some corn out of the meadow they brought to 
us upon horses which they had there taken. From hence 
we went up about the falls, where we crossed that river 
again ; and whilst I was going, I fell right down lame of 
my old wounds that I had in the war, and whilst I was 
thinking I should therefore be killed by the Indians, and 
what death I should die, my pain was suddenly gone, and 
I was much encouraged again. We had about eleven 
horses in that company, which the Indians made to carry 
burthens, and to carry women. It was afternoon when 
we now crossed that river ; we travelled up that river till 
night, and then book up our lodging in a dismal place, and 
were staked down and spread out on our backs ; and so 
we lay all night, yea so we lay many nights. They told 
me their law was, that we should lie so nine nights, and 
by that time, it was thought we should be out of our 
knowledge. The manner of staking down was thus : our 
arms and legs stretched out were staked fast down, and a 
cord about our necks, so that we could stir no ways. 
The first night of staking down, being much tired, I slept 
as comfortably as ever; the next day we went up the 
river, and crossed it, and at night lay in Squakheag mea- 



PRESERVATIONS. 31 

dows ; our provision was soon spent ; and while we lay 
in those meadows the Indians went a hunting, and the 
English army came out after us : then the Indians moved 
again, dividing themselves and the captives into many 
companies, that the English might not follow their tract. 
At night having crossed the river, we met again at the 
place appointed. The next day we crossed the river again 
on Squakheag side, and there we took up our quarters for 
a long time ; I suppose this might be about thirty miles 
above Squakheag, and here were the Indians quite out of 
all fear of the English ; but in great fear of the Mohawks ; 
here they built a long wigwam. Here they had a great 
dance (as they call it) and concluded to burn three of us, 
and had got bark to do it with, and as I understood after- 
wards, I was one that was to be burnt, Sergeant Plimpton 
another, and Benjamin Wait his wife the third : though I 
knew not which was to be burnt, yet I perceived some 
were designed thereunto, so much I understood of their 
language : that night I could not sleep for fear of next 
day's work, the Indians being weary with that dance, lay 
down to sleep and slept soundly. The English were all 
loose, then I went out and brought in wood and mended 
the fire, and made a noise on purpose, but none awaked, 
I thought if any of the English would wake, we might kill 
them all sleeping ; I removed out of the way all the guns 
and hatchets ; but my heart failing me, I put all tilings 
where they were again. The next day when we were to 
be burnt, our master and some others spake for us, and 
the evil was prevented in this place : and hereabouts we 
lay three weeks together. Here I had a shirt brought to 
me to make, and one Indian said it should be made this 
ray, a second another way, a third his way ; I told them 



way, a secon 



32 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

I would make it that way that my chief master said ; 
whereupon one Indian struck me on the face with his fist ; 
I suddenly rose up in anger ready to strike again, upon 
this happened a great hubbub, and the Indians and 
English came about me ; I was fain to humble myself to 
my master, so that matter was put up. Before I came to 
this place, my three masters were gone a hunting ; I was 
left with another Indian. All the company being upon a 
inarch, I was left with this Indian, who fell sick, so that I 
was fain to carry his gun and hatchet, and had opportunity 
and had thought to have despatched him, and run away ; 
but did not, for that the English captives had promised 
the contrary to one another, because if one should run 
away, that would provoke the Indians, and endanger the 
rest that could not run away. Whilst we were here, Ben- 
jamin Stebbins going with some Indians to Wachuset hills > 
made his escape from them, and when the news of his 
escape came we were all presently called in and bound ; 
one of the Indians, a captain among them, and always our 
great friend, met me coming in, and told me Stebbins was 
run away, and the Indians spake of burning us, some of 
only burning and biting off our fingers bye and bye. He 
,sai<i there would be a court, and all would speak their 
minds, but he would speak last, and would say, that the 
Indian that let Stebbins run away was only in fault, and 
so no hurt should be done us, fear not : so it proved 
accordingly. Whilst we lingered hereabout, provision 
grew scarce, one bear's foot must serve five of us a whole 
day ; we began to eat horse-flesh, and eat up seven in all ; 
three were left alive and were not killed. Whilst we had 
been here, some of the Indians had been down and fallen 
upon Hadley, and were taken by the English, agreed with 



PRESERVATIONS. 3* 

and let go again, and were to meet the English upon such 
a plain, there to make further terms. Ashpalon was 
much for it, but the Wachuset Sachims, when they caine, 
were much against it, and were for this : that we should 
meet the English indeed, but there fall upon them and 
fight them, and take them. Then Ashpalon spake to iur 
English, not to speak a word more to further that matter, 
for mischief would come of it. When those Indians came 
from Wachuset, there came with them Squaws, and Chil- 
dren about four-score, who reported that the English had 
taken Uncas, and all his men, and sent them beyond seas; 
they were much enraged at this, and asked us if it were 
true ; we said no ; then was Ashpalon angry, and said, he 
would no more believe Englishmen. For they examined 
us every one apart ; then they dealt worse by us for a 
season than before : still provision was scarce. We came 
at length to a place called Squaw-Maug river ; there we 
hoped for Sammon, but we came too late. This place I 
account to be above two hundred miles above Deerfield : 
then we parted into two companies ; some went one way 
and some went another way ; and we went over a mighty 
mountain ; we were eight dayes a going over it, and tra- 
velled very hard, and every day we had either snow or 
rain : we noted that on this mountain all the water run 
northward. Here also we wanted provision ; but at length 
met again on the other side of the mountain, viz. on the 
north side of this mountain, at a river that run into the 
lake, and we were then half a dayes journey off the lake ; 
we stayed here a great while to make canoos to go over 
the lake ; here I was frozen, and here again we were like 
to starve : all the Indians went a hunting, but could get 
nothing: divers days they powow'd, but got nothing ; 

3 



34 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

then they desired the English to pray, and confessed they 
could do nothing ; they wonld have us pray, and see what 
the Englishman's God could do. I prayed, so did Ser- 
jeant Plimpton, in another place. The Indians reverently 
attended, morning and night ; next day they got bears ; 
then they would needs have us desire a blessing, return 
thanks at meals : after a while they grew weary of it, and 
the Sachim did forbid us. When I was frozen they were 
very cruel towards me, because I could not do as at other 
times. When we came to the lake we were again sadly put 
to it for provision ; we were fain to eat touchwood f ryed in 
bears greace ; at last we found a company of racoons, and 
then we made a feast ; and the manner was, that we must 
eat all. 1 perceived there would be too much for one 
time, so one I ndian that sat next to me bid me slip away 
some to him under his coat, and he would hide it for me 
till another time. This Indian, as soon as he had got 
my meat, stood up and made a speech to the rest, and 
discovered me, so that the Indiana were very angry, and 
cut me another piece, and gave me racoon grease to drink, 
which made me sick and vomit. I told them i had 
enough, so that ever after that they would give me none, 
but still tell me 1 had racoon enough ; so I suffered much, 
and being frozen was full of pain, and could sleep but a. 
little, yet must do my work. When they went upsn the 
lake, and as they came to the lake, they light of a moose 
and killed it, and staid there till they had eaten it all up. 
And entering upon the lake, there arose a great storm ; we 
thought we should all be cast away ; but at last we got to 
an island, and there they went to Powawirig. The Powaw 
said that Benjamin Wait and another man was coining, 
and that storm was raised to cast them away. This after- 



PRESERVATIONS. 35 

ward appeared to be true, though then I believed them 
not. Upon this island we lay still several dayes, and then 
set out again, but a storm took us, so that we lay to and 
fro upon certain islands about three weeks ; we had no 
provision but racoons, so that the Indians themselves 
thought they should be starved. They gave me nothing, 
so that I was sundry days without any provision. We 
went on upon the lake upon that isle, about a dayes jour- 
ney : we had a little sled upon which we drew our load. 
Before noon I tired, and just then the Indians met with 
some Frenchmen : tl^en one of the Indians that took me 
came to me and called me all manner of bad names, and 
threw me down upon my back. I told him I could not 
do any more ; then he said he must kill me. I thought 
he was about it, for he pulled out his knife arid cut out 
iny pockets, and wrapped them about my face, helped me 
up, and took my sled and went away, and gave me a bit 
of biscake, as big as a walnut, which he had of the French- 
man, and told me he would give me a pipe of tobacco. 
When my sled was gone I could run after him, but at 
last I could not run, but went a foot-pace; then the 
Indians were soon out of sight ; I followed as well as I 
could ; I had many falls upon the ice ; at last I was so 
spent I had not strength enough to rise again, but I crept 
to a tree that lay along, and got upon it, and there I lay. 
It was now night, and very sharp weather; I counted no 
other but that I must die there. Whilest 1 was thinking of 
death an Indian hallowed, and I answered him ; he came to 
me and called me bad names, and told me if I could not 
go he must knock me on the head ; I told him he must 
then so do. He saw how I had wallowed* in that snow, 
but could not rise : then he took his coat and wrapt me in 

3a 



36 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

it, and went back, and sent two Indians with a sled. One 
said be must knock me on the head ; the other said no, 
they would carry me away and burn me : then they bid me 
stir my instep, to see if that were frozen ; I did so ; when 
they saw that they said that was ' wurregen.' There was 
a chirurgeon at the French that could cure me. Then 
they took me upon the sled and carried me to the fire, 
and they then made much of mo, pulled off my wet, and 
wrapped me in dry clothes, made me a good bed. They 
had killed an otter, and gave me some of the broth, and a 
bit of the flesh. Here I slept till towards day, and then 
was able to get up and put on my clothes. One of the 
Indians awaked, and seeing me go, shouted as rejoycing at 
it. As soon as it \vas light, 1 and Samuel liussel went 
before on the ice upon a river ; they said I must go 
where I could on foot, else I should frieze. Samuel 
Russel slipt into the river with one foot ; the Indians 
called him back and dried his stockins, and then sent us 
away, and an Indian with us to pilot us, and we went four 
or h've miles before they overtook us. 1 was then pretty 
well spent ; Samuel Kussel \vas (he said) faint, and won- 
dred how 1 could live, for he had (he said) ten meals to 
my one. Then I was laid on the sled, and they ran 
away \\ ith me on the ice ; the rest and ^^ainuel Kussel 
came softly alter. Samuel Russel i never saw more, nor 
know what became of him : they got but half \\ ay, and we 
got through to Shamblee about midnight. Six miles of 
Shamblee (a French town) the river was open; and when 
I came to travail in that part of the ice 1 soon tired ; and 
two Indians run away to town, and only one was left : he 
would carry me a fow rods, and then 1 would go as many, 
and that trade we drave, and so were long a going six 




PRESERVATIONS, 37 

miles. This Indian now was kind, and told me that if he 
did not cany me I would die, and so I should have done 
sure enough ; and he said I must tell the English how he 
helped me. When we came to the first house there was 
no inhabitant: the Indian spent, both discouraged; he 
said we must now both die ; at last he left me alone, and 
got to another house, and thence came some French and 
Indians ard brought me in : the French were kind, and 
put my hands and feet in cold water, and gave me a dram 
of brandey, and a little hasty pudding and milk ; when I 
tasted victuals I was hungry, and could not have forbom 
it, but that I could not get it ; now and then they would 
give me a little as they thought best for me ; I lay by the 
fire with the Indians that night, but could not sleep for 
pain : next morning the Indians and French fell out about 
me, because the French, as the Indian said, loved the 
English better than the Indians. The French presently 
turned the Indians out of doors and kept me ; they were 
very kind and careful, and gave me a little something now 
and then ; while I was here all the men in that town came 
to see me : at this house I was three or four dayes, and then 
invited to another, and after that to another ; at this place I 
was about thirteen dayes, and received much civility from a 
young man, a batchelour, who invited me to his house, with 
whom I was for the most part; he was so kind as to lodge me 
in the bed with himself; he gave me a shirt, and would have 
bought me, but could not, for the Indians asked a hundred 
pounds for me. We were then to go to a place called 
Surril, and that young man would go with me, because 
the Indians should not hurt me : this man carried me on 
the ice one dayes journey, for I could not now go at all ; 
then there was so much water on the ice, we could go no 



38 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

further : so the Frenchman left me, and provision for me ; 
here we stayed two nights, and then travailed again, for 
then the ice was strong ; and in two dayes more I came 
to Surril ; the first house we came to was late in the night ; 
here again the people were kind. Next day being in 
much pain, I asked the Indians to carry me to the Chirur- 
geons, as they had promised, at which they were wroth, 
and one of them took up his gun to knock me, but the 
Frenchmen would not suffer it, but set upon him, and 
kicked him out of doors : then we went away from thence 
to a place two or three miles off, where the Indians had 
wigwams ; when I came to these wigwams, some of the 
Indians knew me and seemed to pity me. While I was 
here, which was three or four dayes, the French came to 
see me, and it being Christmas time, they brought cakes 
and other provisions with them, and gave to me, so that 
I had no want : the Indians tried to cure me, but could 
not ; then I asked for the chirurgeon, at which one of the 
Indians, in anger struck me on the face with his fist ; a 
Frenchman being by, the Frenchman spake to him I 
knew not what he said and went his way. 13y and by 
came the captain of the place into the wigwam with about 
twelve armed men, and asked where the Indian was that 
struck ihe Englishman, and took him and told him he 
should go to the bilboes, and then be hanged : the I ndians 
were much terrified at this, as appeared by their coun- 
tenances and trembling. I would have gone too, but the 
Frenchman bid me not fear, the Indians durst not hurt 
me. When that Indian was gone, I had two masters still ; 
I asked them to carry me to that captain, that I might 
speak for the Indian; they answered, I was a fool, did I 
think the Frenchmen were like to the English, to say one 



PRESER VA TIONS. 

thing and do another ? they were men of their words. But 
I prevailed with them to help me thither, and I spake to 
the captain by an interpreter, and told him 1 desired him 
to set the Indian free, and told him what he had done for 
me ; he told me he was a rogue and should be hanged ; 
then I spake more privately, alleging this reason, because 
all the English captives were not come in, if ho were 
hanged it might fare the worse with them ; then the 
captain said that was to be considered : then he set him 
at liberty, upon this condition, that he should never strike 
me more, and every day bring me to his house to eat 
victuals. I perceived that the common people did not 
like what the Indians had done and did to the English. 
When the Indian was set free, he came to me, and took 
me about the middle, and said I was his brother, I had 
saved his life once, and he had saved mine (he said) thrice. 
Then he called for brandy, and made me drink, and had 
me away to the wigwams again ; when L came there, the 
Indians came to me one by one, to shake hands with me, 
saying * Wurregen Netop,' and were very kind, thinking 
no other but that I had saved the Indians life. The next 
day he carried me to that captains house, and set me 
down ; they gave me my victuals and wine, and being left 
there a while by the Indians, 1 shewed the captain my 
fingers, which when he and his wife saw, he and his wife 
run away from the sight, and bid me lap it up again, and 
sent for the chirurgeon, who, when he came, said he could 
cure me, and took ib in hand, and dressed it. The Indians 
towards night came for me ; I told them I could not go 
with them ; they were displeased, called me rogue, and 
went away. That night I was full of pain ; the French 
did fear that I would die ; five men did watch with me, 



40 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

and strove to keep ine chearly, for I was sometimes ready 
to faint ; often times they gave me a little brandy. The 
next day the chirurgeon came again, and dressed me, and 
so he did all the while I was among the French. I came 
in at Christmass, and went thence May 2d. Being thus in 
the captain's house, I was kept there till Ben Waite came, 
and my Indian master heing in want of money, pawned 
me to the captain for 14 beavers, or the worth of them, 
at such a day ; if he did not pay, he must lose his pawn, 
or else sell me for twenty-one beavers ; but he could not 
get beaver, and so I was sold." But by being thus 
sold, he was in Gods good time set at liberty, and returned 
to his friends in New England again. 

Thus far is this poor captive's relation concerning the 
changes of Providence which passed over him. 

There is one remarkable passage more affirmed by him : 
for he saith, in their travails they came to a place where 
was a great wigwam (i.e. Indian house) ; at both ends was 
an image ; here the Indians in the war time were wont 
oo powaw (i.e. invocate the devil), and so did they come 
down to Hatfield, one of the images told them they should 
destroy a town j the other said no, half a town, This god 
(said tii at Indian) speaks true; the other \vas not good, he 
told them lies. No doubt but others are capable of 
declaring many passages of Divine Providence no less 
worthy to be recorded than these lasb recited ; but inas- 
much as they have not been brought to my hands, I 
proceed to another relation. 

Very memorable was the Providence of God towards 
Mr. Ephraim How, of New-Haven, in New England, who 
was for a whole twelveinoneth given up by his friends as 



^RESERVATIONS. 

a dead man ; but God preserved him alive in a desolate 
island where he had suffered shipwrack, and at last 
returned him home to his family. 

The history of this providence might have been men- 
tioned amongst " Sea Deliverances," yet considering it wan 
not only so, I shall here record what himself (being a 
godly man) did relate of the Lords marvelous dispensa- 
tions towards him, that so others might be encouraged to 
put their trust in God, in the times of their greatest strait* 
and difficulties. 

On the 25th of August, in the year 1676, the said 
Skipper How, with his two eldest sons, set sail from New- 
Haven for Boston, in a small ketch, burden 17 tun, or 
thereabout. After the dispatch of their business there, 
they set sail from thence for New-Haven again, on the 
10th of September following; but contrary winds forced 
them back to Boston, where the said How was taken ill 
with a violent flux, which distemper continued near a 
nioneth, many being at that time sick of the same disease, 
which proved mortal to some. The merciful providence 
of God having spared his life, and restored him to some 
measure of health, he again set sail from Boston, October 10. 
By a fair wind they went forward so as to ruake Cape Cod ; 
but suddenly the weather became very tempestuous, so as 
that they could not seize the Cape, but were forced off to 
sea, where they were endangered in a small vessel by very 
fearful storms and outrageous winds and seas. Also, his 
eldest son fell sick and died in about eleven days after 
they set out to sea. He was no sooner dead but his other 
son fell sick and died too. This was a bitter cup to th^ 
good father. It is noted in 1 Chron. vii, 22, "that when 
the eons of Ephraim were dead, Ephraim their father 






42 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort 
him." This Ephraim when his sons were dead his friends 
on shore knew it not, nor could they come to comfort him ; 
hut when his friends and relations could not, the Lord 
himself did, ior they died after so sweet, gracious, and 
comfortable a manner, as that their father prof essed he had 
joy in parting with them. Yet now their outward distress 
and danger was become greater, since the skipper's two 
sons were the only help he had in working the vessel. 
Not long after, another of the company, viz. Caleb Jones 
(son to Mr. William Jones, one of the worthy magistrates 
in New- Haven), fell sick and died also, leaving the world 
with comfortable manifestations of true repentance towards 
God, and faith in Jesus Christ. Thus the one-half of 
their company was taken away, none remaining but the 
skipper himself, one Mr. Augur, and a boy. lie himself 
was still sickly, and in a very weak estate, yet was fain 
to stand at the helm thirty-six hours and twenty-four 
hours at a time : in the meantime the boisterous sea 
overwhelming the vessel, so as that if he had not been 
lasht fast he had certainly been washed overboard. In 
this extremity he was at a loss in his own thoughts, 
whether they should persist in striving for the New Eng- 
land shore, or bear away for the southern islands. He 
proposed that question to Mr. Augur; they resolved that 
they would first seek to God by prayer about it, and then 
put this difficult case to an issue, by casting a lot. So 
they did, and the lot fell on New England. By that time 
a moneth was expired, they lost the rudder of their vessel, so 
that now they had nothing but God alone to rely upon. 
In this deplorable state were they for a fortnight. The 
skipper (though infirm, as has been expressed;, yet for six 



PRESERVATIONS. 43 

weeks together was hardly ever dry ; nor had they the 
benefit of warm food for more than thrice or thereabouts. 
At the end of six weeks, in the morning betimes, the vessel 
was driven on the tailings of a ledge of rocks, where the 
sea broke violently ; looking out they espied a dismal 
rocky island to the leeward, upon which, if the Providence 
of God had not by the breakers given them timely warning, 
they had been dashed in pieces. And this extremity was 
the Lords opportunity to appear for their deliverance; 
they immediately let go an anchor, and get out the boat ; 
and God made the sea calm. The boat proved leaky ; 
and being in the midst of fears and amazements they took 
little out of the vessel. After they came ashore, they found 
themselves in a rocky desolate island (near Cape Sables), 
where was neither man nor beast to be seen, so that now 
they were in extream danger of being starved to death. 
But a storm arose which beat violently upon the vessel at 
anchor, so as that it was staved in pieces, and a cask of 
powder was brought ashore (receiving no damage by its 
being washed in the water), also a barrel of wine, and half 
a barrel of niolosses, together with many things useful for 
a tent to preserve them from cold. This not withstanding, 
new and great distresses attended them ; for though they 
had powder and shot, there were seldom any f o Is to be 
seen in that dismal and desolate place, excepting a few 
crows, ravens, and gulls ; these were so few as that for the 
most part the skipper shot at one at a time. Many times 
half of one of these fowls, with the liquor, made a meal for 
three. Once they lived five dayes without any sustenance, 
at which time they did not feel themselves pincht with 
hunger as at other times, the Lord in mercy taking away 
their appetites when their food did utterly fail them. After 



M REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

they had "been about twelve weeks in this miserable island, 
Mr. How's dear friend and consort, Mr. Augur, died, so 
that he had no living creature but the lad before men- 
tioned to converse with; and on April 2, 1677, that lad 
died also, so that the master was now left alone upon the 
island, and continued so to be above a quarter of a year, 
not having any living soul to converse with. In this time 
he saw several fishing vessels sailing by, and some came 
nearer the island than that which at last took Jiim in ; but 
though he used what means he could that they might bo 
Acquainted with his distress, none came to him, being 
afraid ; for they supposed him to be one of those Indians 
who were then in hostility against the English. The good 
man, whilest he was in his desolate estate, kept many dayes 
x)f fasting and prayer, wherein he did confess and bewail 
his sins, the least of which deserved greater evils than any 
in this world ever were or can be subject unto ; and begged 
.of God that he would find out a way for his deliverance. 
At last it came into his mind that he ought very solemnly 
to praise God (as well as pray unto him) for the great 
mercies and signal preservations which he had thus far 
experienced. Accordingly he set apart a day for that end, 
-spending the time in giving thanks to God for all the 
mercies of his life, so far as he could call them to mind, 
and in special, for those Divine favours which had been 
mingled with his afflictions; humbly blessing God for his 
wonderful goodness in preserving him alive by a miracle 
of mercy. Immediately after this, a vessel, belonging to 
Salem in New England, providentially passing by that 
island, sent their boat on shore, and took in Skipper How, 
who arrived at Salem, July 18, 1677, and was at last 
returned to his family in New-Haven. 



PRESERVATIONS. 45 

Upon this occasion it may not be amiss to commemorate 
a providence not altogether unlike unto the but now related 
preservation of Skipper How. The story which I intend 
is mentioned by Mandelslo in his Travails, page 280, and 
more fully by Mr. Clark in his Example vol. ii, page 618, 
Mr. Burton in hia Prodigies of Mercies, page 209. Yet 
inasmuch as but few in this countrey hare the authors men- 
tioned, I shall here insert what has been by them already 
published. The story is in brl f as followeth : 

"In the year 161(3, a Fleming, whose name was Pickman, 
coming from Norway in a vessel loaden with boards, was 
overtaken by a calm, during which the current carried him 
upon a rock or little island towards the extremities of 
Scotland. To avoid a wreck he commanded some of his 
men to go into the shallop, and to tow the ship ; they 
having done so, would needs go up into a certain rock to 
look for birds eggs ; but as soon as they were got up into 
it, th<*y at some distance perceived a man, \\ hence they 
imagined that there were others lurking thereabouts, and 
that this man had made his escape thither from some 
pyrates, who, if not prevented, might surprise their ship : 
and therefore they made all the haste they could to their 
shallop, and so returned to their ship ; but the calm con- 
tinuing, and the current of the sea still driving them upon 
the island, they were forced to gt-t into the long-boat, and 
to to\v her oif again. The man whom ihcy had seen 
before was in the meantime come to the brink of the 
island, and made signs with his hands lifted up, and some- 
times falling on his knees, and joyning his hands together, 
begging and crying to them for relief. At first they made 
some difficulty to get to him, but at last, being overcome 
by his lamentable signs, they went nearer the island, where 



46 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

they saw som*- thing that was more like a ghost than a 
living person; a body stark naked, black and hairy, a 
meagre and deformed countenance, with hollow and dis- 
torted eyes, which raised such compassion in them, that 
they essayed to take him into the boat; but the rock was 
so steepy thereabouts, that it was impossible for them to 
land ; whereupon they went about the island, and came at 
last to a flat shore, where they took the man aboard. They 
found nothing at all in the island, neither grass nor tree, 
nor ought else from which a man could procure any 
subsistence, nor any shelter, but the ruins of a boat, where- 
with he had made a kind of a hutt. under which he might 
lie down and shelter himself against the injuries of wind 
and weather. No sooner were they gotten to the ship, 
but there arose a wind that drave them off from the 
island ; observing this providence they were the more 
inquisitive, to know of this man, what he was, and by what 
means he came unto that uninhabitable place ? Hereunto 
the man answered : 

" I am an Englishman, that about a year ago, was to 
pass in the ordinary passage-boat from England to 1 >ublin 
in Ireland ; but by the way we were taken by a French 
pirate, who being immediately forced by a tempest, which 
presently arose, to let our boat go ; we were three of us in , 
it, left to the mercy of the wind and waves, which carried : 
us bet een Ireland and Scotland into the main sea : in the 
meantime w<- had neither food nor drink, but only some 
sugar in the boat ; upon this we lived, and drank our own 
urine, till our bodies were so dried up, that we could make 
no more ; whereupon one of our company, being quite 
spent, died, whom we heaved overboard ; and awhile after 



PRESERVATIONS. 47 

a second was grown so feeble, that he had laid himself 
along in the boat, ready to give up the ghost : but in this 
extremity it pleased God that I kenned this island afar oft, 
and thereupon encouraged the dying man to rouse up him- 
self with hopes of life ; and accordingly, upon this good 
news, he raised himself up, and by and by our boat was 
cast upon this island, and split against a rock. "N'ow we 
were in a more wretched condition than if we had been 
swallowed up by the sea, for then \ve had been delivered 
out of the extremities we were now in for want of meat 
and drink ; yet the Lord was pleased to make some pro- 
vision for us : for on the island we took some sea-mews, 
which we did eat raw : we found also in the holes of the 
rocks, upon the sea-side, some <-ggs; and thus had we 
through God's good Providence wherewithal to subsist, as 
much as would keep us from star ing : but what we 
thought most unsupportable, was thirst, in regard that the 
place afforded no fresh water but what fell from the 
clouds, and was left in certain pits, which time had made 
in the rock. Neither could we have this at all seasons by 
reason that the rock being small, and lying low, in stormy 
weather the waves dashed over it, and filled th^ pits with 
salt-water. AVh^n they came first upon thn island, about 
the midst of it they found two long stones pitched in the 
ground, and the third laid upon them, like a table, which 
they judged to have been so placed by some fishermen to 
dry their fish upon, and under this they lay in the nights, 
till with some boards of their boat, they made a kind of an 
hutt to be a shelter for them. In this condition they lived 
together for the space of about six weeks, comforting one 
another, and finding some ease in their common calamity, 
till at last, one of them being left alone, the burden 



48 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

became almost insupportable : for one day, awaking in the 
morning, he missed his fellow, and getting up, he went 
calling and seeking all the island about for him ; but when 
he could by no means find him, he fell into such despair 
that he often resolved to have cast himself down into the 
ea, and so to put a final period to that affliction, whereof 
he had endured but the one-half whilst he had a friend 
that divided it with him. What became of his comrade 
he could not guess, whether despair forced him to that 
extremity, or whether getting up in the night, not fully 
awake, he fell from the rock, as he was looking for birds 
eggs ; for he had discovered no distraction in him, neither 
could imagine that he could on a sudden fall into that 
despair, against which he had so fortified himself by 
frequent and fervent prayer. And his loss did so a Sect 
the survivor, that he often took his leer, with a purpose 
to have leaped from the rocks into the sea ; yet still his 
conscience stopped him, suggesting to him, that if he did 
it, he would bs j utterly damned for his self-murther. 

" Another affliction also befel him, which was this : his 
only knife, wherewith he cut up the sea-dogs and sea- 
mews, having a bloody cloth about it, was carried away (as 
he thought) by some fowl of prey ; so that not being able 
to kill any more, he was reduced to this extremity, with 
much difficulty to get out of the boards of his hutt a great 
nail, which he made shift so to sharpen upon the stones, 
that it served him instead of a knife. When winter came 
on, he endured the greatest misery imaginable ; for many 
times the rock and his hutt were so covered with snow, 
that it \\ as not possible for him to go abroad to provide 
his food, which extremity put him upon this invention : 
Ho put out a little stick at the crevice of his hutt, and 



PRESERVATIONS. 49 

baiting it with a little sea-dogs fat, by that means he got 
some sea-mews, which he took with his hand from under 
the snow, and so kept himself from starving. In this sad 
and solitary condition he lived for about eleven months, 
expecting therein to end his dayes, when Gods gracious 
providence sent this ship thither which delivered him out 
of the greatest misery that ever man was in. The master 
of the ship, commiserating his deplorable condition, treated 
him so well, that within a few dayes he was quite another 
creature ; and afterwards he set him a shore at Derry, in 
Ireland; and sometimes after he saw him at Dublin, 
where such as heard what had happened unto him, gave 
him money wherewithal to return into his native countrey 
of England." 

Thus far is that relation. 

I have seen a manuscript, wherein many memorable 
passages of Divine Providence are recorded, and this, 
which I shall now mention, amongst others. 

About the year 1638, a ship fell foul upon the rocks and 
sands called the Rancadories, sixty leagues distant from 
the Isle of Providence. Ten of the floating passengers 
got to a spot of land, where having breathed awhile, and 
expecting to perish by famine, eight of them chose rather 
to commit themselves to the mercy of the waters ; two 
only stood upon the spot of land, one whereof soon died, 
and was in the. sands buried by his now desolate com- 
panion. This solitary person in the midst of the roaring- 
waters was encompassed with the goodness of Divine Pro- 
vidence. Within three dayes God was pleased to send 
this single person (who now alone was lord and subject in 
this his little commonwealth) good store of fowl, and to 



50 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

render them so tame, that the forlorn man could pick and 
chuse where he list. Fish also were now and then cast 
up within his reach, and somewhat that served for fuel, 
enkindled by flint, to dress them. Thus lived that insu- 
lary anchorite for about two years, till at last, having 
espied a Dutch vessel, he held a rag of his shirt upon the 
top of a stick towards them, which being come within 
view of, they used means to fetch him off the said spot of 
sand, and brought him to the Isle of Providence. The 
man having in so long a time conversed only with Heaven, 
lookt at first very strangely, and was not able at first 
conference promptly to speak and answer. 




CHAPTER III. 




CONCERNING REMARKABLES ABOUT THUNDER AND 
LIGHTNING. 

One at Salisbury in New England struck dead thereby. Several at Marsh- 
field. One at North-Hampton. The captain of the castle in Boston. 
Some remarkables about lightning in Rocksborough, Wenham, Marble- 
head, Cambridge ; and in several vessels at sea. Some late parallel 
instances. Of several in the last century. Scripture examples of men 
slain by lightning. 

HERE are who affirm, that although terrible 
lightnings with thunders have ever been fre- 
quent in this land, yet none were hurt thereby 
(neither man nor beast) for many years after 
the English did first settle in these American desarts, but 
that of later years fatal and fearful slaughters have in 
that way been made amongst us, is most certain ; and 
there are many who have in this respect been as brands 
plucked out of the burning, when the Lord hath over- 
thrown others as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 
Such solemn works of Providence ought not to be for- 
gotten. I shall now, therefore, proceed in giving an 
account of remarkables respecting thunder and lightning, 
so far as I have received credible information concerning 
them ; the particulars whereof are these which follow : 
In July, 1654, a man whose name was Partridge, es- 
teemed a very godly person, at Salisbury in New England, 



52 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

was killed with thunder and lightning, his house being 
set on fire thereby, and himself with others endeavouring 
the quenching of it, by a second crack of thunder with 
lightning (he being at the door of his house), was struck 
dead, and never spake more. There were ten other 
persons also that were struck and lay for dead at the 
present, but they all revived, excepting Partridge. Some 
that viewed him report that there were holes (like such 
as were made with shot) found in his clothes and skin 
One side of his shirt and body was scorched, and not the 
other. His house, though (as was said) set on fire by 
the lightning in divers places, was not burnt down, but 
preserved by an abundance of rain falling upon it. 

July 31, 1658, there hapned a storm of thunder and 
lightning with rain, in the town of Marshfield, in Plymouth 
colony in New England. Mr. Nathanael Thomas, John 
Philips, and another belonging to that town, being in the 
field, as they perceived the storm a coming, betook them- 
selves to the next house for shelter. John Philips sat 
down near the chimney, his face towards the inner door. 
A black cloud flying very low, out of it there came a great 
ball of fire, with a terrible crack of thunder ; the fire-ball 
fell down just before the said Philips ; he seemed to give a 
start on his seat, and so fell backward, being struck dead, 
not the least motion of life appearing in him afterwards. 
Captain Thomas, who sat directly opposite to John Philips, 
about six feet distance from him, and a young child that 
was then within three feet of him, through the providence 
of God, received no hurt ; yet many of the bricks in the 
chimney were beaten down, the principal rafters split, the 
battens next the chimney in the chamber were broken, one 



LIGHTNING. 53 

of the main posts of the house into which the summer was 
framed rent into shivers, and a great part of it was carried 
several rod from the house ; the door before Philips, where 
the fire came down was broken. 



n the 28th of April, A.D. 1664, a company of the 
neighbours being met together at the house of Henry 
Condliff, in North-Hampton in New England, to spend a 
few hours in Christian conferences and in prayer, there 
hapned a storm of thunder and rain ; and as the good 
man of the house was at prayer, there came a ball of 
lightning in at the roof of the house, which set the thatch 
on fire, grated on the timber, pierced through the cham- 
ber-floor, no breach being made on the boards, only one of 
the jouyces somewhat rased. Matthew Cole, who was son- 
in-law to the said Condliff, was struck stone dead as he 
was leaning over a table, and joyning with the rest in 
prayer. He did not stir nor groan after he was smitten, 
but continued standing as before, bearing upon the table. 
There was no visible impression on his body or clothes, 
only the sole of one of his shoes was rent from the upper 
leather. There were about twelve persons in the room ; 
none else received any harm, only one woman (who is still 
living) was struck upon the head, which occasioned some 
deafness ever since. The fire on the house was quenched 
the seasonable help of neighbours. 

July 15, 1665, there were terrible cracks of thunder : an 
house in Boston was struck by it, and the dishes therein 
melted as they stood on the shelves \ but no other hurt 
done in the town, only Captain Davenport, a worthy man, 
and one that had in the Pequot war ventured his life, and 



54 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

did great service for the countrey, then residing in the 
castle, where he commanded, having that day wrought him- 
self weary, and thinking to refresh himself with sleep, was 
killed with lightning as he lay upon his bed asleep. Several 
of the soldiers in the castle were struck at the same time, 
but God spared their lives. It has "been an old opinion, 
mentioned by Plutarch (Sympos. lib. 4, q. 2), that men 
asleep are never smitten with lightning ; to confirm which 
it has been alledged, that one lying asleep, the lightning 
melted the money in his purse, without doing him any 
further harm; and that a cradle, wherein a child lay 
sleeping, was broken with the lightning, and the child not 
hurt; and that the arrows of King Mithridates, being 
near his bed, were burnt with lightning, and yet himself 
being asleep received no hurt. But as much of all this 
may be affirmed of persons awake ; and this sad example 
(tristejaces lucis evitandumque bidental) of Captain Daven- 
port, whom the lightning found and left asleep, does con- 
fute the vulgar error mentioned. And no doubt but that 
many the like instances to this have been known in the 
world, the records whereof we have not. But I proceed. 

June 23, 1666. In Marshfield, another dismal storm 
of rain with thunder and lightning hapned. There were 
then in the house of John Philips (he was father of that 
John Philips who was slain by lightning in the year 
1658) fourteen persons; the woman of the house calling 
earnestly to shut the door, that was no sooner done, but 
an astonishing thunder-clap fell upon the house, rent the 
chimney, and split the door. All in the house were 
struck. One of them (who is still living) saith, that when 
he came to himself, he saw the house full of smoke, and 



LIGHTNING. 55 

perceived a grievous smell of brimstone, and saw the fire 
lie scattered, though whether that fire came from heaven 
or was violently hurled out of the hearth, he can give no 
account. At first he thought all the people present, 
except himself, had been killed ; but it pleased God to 
revive most of them. Only three of them were mortally 
wounded with Heaven's arrows, viz., the wife of John 
Philips, and another of his sons, a young man about 
twenty years old, and William Shertly, who had a child 
in his arms, that received no hurt by the lightning when 
himself was slain. This Shertly was at that time a 
sojourner in John Philips his house. The wife of this 
Shertly was with child and near her full time, and struck 
down for dead at present, but God recovered her, so that 
she received no hurt, neither by fright nor stroke. Two 
little children sitting upon the edge of a table, had their 
lives preserved, though a dog, which lay behind them 
under the table, was killed, j 

In the same year, in the latter end of May, Samuel 
Buggies, of Kocksborough in New England, going with a 
loaden cart, was struck with lightning. He did not hear 
the thunder-clap, but was by the force of the lightning, 
e're he was aware, carried over his cattle about ten foot 
distance from them. Attempting to rise up, he found that 
he was not able to stand upon his right leg, for his right 
foot was become limber, and would bend any way, feeling 
as if it had no bone in it ; nevertheless, he made a shift 
with the use of one leg to get to his cattle (being an horse 
and two oxen), which were all killed by the lightning. 
He endeavoured to take off the yoak from the neck of one 
of the oxen, but then he perceived that his thumb and two 



56 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

fingers in one hand were stupified that he could not stir 
them ; they looked like cold clay, the blood clear gone out 
of that part of his hand ; but by rubbing his wounded leg 
and hand, blood and life came into them again. As he 
came home, pulling off his stocking, he found that on the 
inside of his right leg (which smarted much) the hair was 
quite burnt off, and it looked red ; just over his ankle his 
stocking was singed on the inside, but not on the outside, 
and there were near upon twenty marks, about as big as 
pins heads, which the lightning had left thereon ; likewise 
the shoe on his left foot was by the lightning struck off 
his foot, and carried above two rods from him. On the 
upper leather, at the heel of the shoe, there were five holes 
burnt through it, bigger than those which are made with 
duck shot. As for the beasts that were slain, the hair 
upon their skins was singed, so that one might perceive 
that the lightning had run winding and turning strangely 
upon their bodies, leaving little marks no bigger than 
corns of gun-powder behind it. There was in the cart a 
chest, which the lightning pierced through, as also through 
a quire of paper and twelve napkins, melting some pewter 
dishes that were under them. 

At another time in Rocksborough, a thunder storm 
hapning, broke into the house of Thomas Bishop, striking 
off some clapboards, splitting two studs of the end spar, 
and running down by each side of the window, where 
stood a bed with three children in it. Over the head of 
the bed were three guns and a sword, which were so 
melted with the lightning that they began to ' run. It 
made a hole through the floor, and coming into a lower 
room, it beat down the shutter of the window, and 



LIGHTNING. 57 

running on a shelf of pewter, it melted several dishes 
there; and descending lower, it melted a brass morter, 
and a brass kettle. The children in the bed were won- 
derfully preserved; for a lath at the corner of it was 
burnt, and splinters flew about their clothes and faces, 
and there was not an hands breadth between them and 
the fire, yet received they no hurt. 

On the 18th of May (being the Lords day) A.D. 1673, 
the people at "Wenham (their worthy pastor, Mr. Antipas 
Newman, being lately dead) prevailed with the Reverend 
Mr. Higginson of Salem to spend that Sabbath amongst 
them. The afternoon sermon being ended, he, with several 
of the town, went to Mr. Newman his house. Whilst 
they were in discourse there about the word and works of 
God, a thunder-storm arose. After a while, a smart clap 
of thunder broke upon the house, and especially into the 
room where they were sitting and discoursing together ; it 
did for the present deafen them all, filling the room with 
smoke, and a strong smell as of brimstone. With the 
thunder-clap came in a ball of fire as big as the bullet of 
a great gun, which suddenly went up the chimney, as 
also the smoke did. This ball of fire was seen at the feet 
of Richard Goldsmith, who sat on a leather chair next 
the chimney, at which instant he fell off the chair on the 
ground. As soon as the smoke was gone, some in the 
room endeavoured to hold him up, but found him dead ; 
also the dog that lay under the chair was found stone 
dead, but not the least hurt done to the chair. All that 
could be perceived by the man, was, that the hair of his 
head, near one of his ears, was a little singed. There were 
seven or eight in that room, and more in the next ; yet 




58 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

(through the merciful providence of God) none else had 
the least harm. This Richard Goldsmith, who was thus 
slain, was a shoemaker by trade, being reputed a good 
man for the main ; but had blemished his Christian pro- 
fession by frequent breaking of his promise ; it being too 
common with him (as with too many professors amongst 
us), to be free and forward in engaging, but backward in 
performing ; yet this must further be added, that half a 
year before his death, God gave him a deep sense of Ms 
evils, that he made it his business, not only that his peace 
might be made with God, but with men also, unto whom 
he had given just offence. He went up and down 
bewailing his great sin in promise-breaking; and was 
become a very conscientious and lively Christian, pro- 
moting holy and edifying discourses, as he had occasion. 
At that very time when he was struck dead, he was 
speaking of some passages in the sermon he had newly 
heard, and his last words were, Blessed be the Lord. 

In the same year, 011 the 21st of June, being Saturday, 
in the afternoon, another thunder-storm arose, during 
which storm Josiah Walton, the youngest son of Mr. 
William Walton, late minister of Marble-head, was in a 
ketch coming in from sea, and being before the harbours 
mouth, the wind suddenly shifted to the northward; 
a violent gust of wind coming down on the vessel, the 
seamen concluded to hand their sails ; Josiah Walton got 
upon the main yard to expedite the matter, and foot down 
the sail, when there hapned a terrible flash of lightning, 
which breaking forth out of the cloud, struck down three 
men who were 011 the deck, without doing them any hurt. 
But Josiah Walton being (as was said) on the main-yard, 



LIGHTNING. 



59 



the lightning shattered his thigh-bone all in pieces, and 
did split and shiver the main-mast of the vessel, and 
scorcht the rigging. Josiah Walton falling down upon the 
deck, his leg was broken short off. His brother being on 
the deck, did (with others) take him up, and found him 
alive, but sorely scorched and wounded. They brought 
him on shore to his mothers house. At first he was very 
sensible of his case, and took leave of his friends, giving 
himself to serious preparation for another world. His 
relations used all means possible for his recovery, though 
he himself told them he was a dead man, and the use of 
means would but put him to more misery. His bones 
were so shattered, that it was not possible for the art of 
man to reduce them ; also, the violent heat of the weather 
occasioned a gangrene. In this misery he continued until 
the next "Wednesday morning, and then departed this life. 
He was an hopeful young man. 

In the year 1678, on the 29th of June, at Cambridge 
in New-England, a thunder-clap with lightning broke into 
the next house to the colledge. It tore away and shattered 
into pieces a considerable quantity of the tyle on the roof. 
In one room there then hapned to be the wife of John 
Benjamin, daughter to Thomas Swetman, the owner of 
the house, who then had an infant about two moneths 
old in her arms ; also another woman. They were all of 
them, struck ; the child being by the force of the lightning 
carried out of the mothers arms, and thrown upon the 
floor some distance from her. The mother was at first 
thought to be dead, but God restored her, though she lost 
the use of her limbs for some considerable time. Her feet 
were singed with the lightning, and yet no sign thereof 



60 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

.appearing on her shoes. Also the child and the other 
woman recovered. In the next room were seven or eight 
persons who received no hurt. It was above a quarter of 
an hour before they could help the persons thus smitten, 
for the room was so full of smoke (smelling like brimstone) 
that they could not see them. Some swine being near the 
-door as the lightning fell, were thrown into the house, 
-and seemed dead awhile, but afterwards came to life again. 
A cat was killed therewith. A pewter candlestick stand 
ing upon a joynt-stool, some part of it was melted and 
carried away before the lightning, and stuck in the cham- 
ber-floor over head, like swan shot, and yet the candlestick 
itself was not so much as shaken off from the stool 
-whereon it stood. 

June 12, 1680. There was an amazing thunder-storm 
at Hampton in New England. The lightning fell upon 
the house of Mr. Joseph Smith, strangely shattering it in 
divers places. His wife (the grand-daughter of that emi- 
nent man of God, Mr. Cotton, who was the famous teacher 
of the church of Christ, first in Old and then in New 
Boston) lay as dead for the present, being struck down 
with the lightning near the chimney ; yet God mercifully 
spared and restored her ; but the said Smith his mother 
(a gracious woman) was struck dead, and never recovered 
.again. 

Besides all these which have been mentioned, one or 
two in Connecticut colony, and four persons dwelling in 
the northern parts of this countrey, were smitten with the 
fire of God, about sixteen years ago ; the circumstances of 
which providences (though very remarkable) I have not as 



LIGHTNING 61 

yet received from those that were acquainted therewith 
and therefore cannot here publish them. Also, some re- 
markables about thunder hapned the last year. 

A reverend friend in a neighbour colony, in a letter 
bearing August 3, 1682, write th thus : 

" We have had of late great storms of rain and wind, 
and some of thunder and lightning, whereby execution 
has been done, though with sparing mercy to men. Mr, 
Jones his house in IS r ew-Haven was broken into by the 
lightning, and strange work made in one room especially, 
in which one of his children had been but a little before. 
This was done June 8th, 1682. A little after which, at 
Norwalk, there were nine working oxen smitten dead at 
once, within a small compass of ground. The next 
moneth, at Greenwich, there were seven swine and a dog 
killed with the lightning, very near a dwelling-house, 
where a family of children (their parents not at home 
when lightning hapned) were much frighted, but received 
no other hurt. What are these but warning pieces, 
shewing that mens lives may go next 1 " Thus he. 

I proceed now to give an account of some late remark- 
ables about thunder and lightning, wherein several vessels 
at sea were concerned. 

July 17, 1677. A vessel, whereof Mr. Thomas Berry 
was master, set sail from Boston in New England, bound 
for the island of Madeira. About 3 h. P.M., being half- 
way between Cape Cod and Brewsters Islands, they were 
becalmed; and they perceived a thunder-shower arising in 
the north-north-west. The master ordered all their sails 
except their two courses) to be furled. When the shower 




62 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

drew near to them, they had only the foresail abroad ; all 
the men were busie in lashing fast the long-boat; the 
master was walking upon the deck, and as he came near 
the main-mast, he beheld something very black fly before 
him, about the bigness of a small mast, at the larboard 
side ; and immediately he heard a dreadful and amazing 
noise, not like a single canon, but as if great armies of 
men had been firing one against another ; presently upon 
which the master was struck clear round, and fell down 
for dead upon the deck, continuing so for about seven 
minutes ; but then he revived, having his hands much 
burnt with the lightning. The ship seemed to be on fire ; 
and a very great smoke, having a sulphurous smell, came 
from between the decks, so that no man was able to stay 
there for more than half an hour after this surprising ac- 
cident hapned. The main-mast was split from the top- 
gallant-mast head to the lower deck. The partners of the 
pump were struck up at the star-board side ; and one end 
of two cabbins staved down betwixt decks. Two holes 
were made in one of the pumps, about the bigness of two 
musquet bullets. They were forced to return to Boston 
again, in order to the fitting of the vessel with a new 
mast. Through the mercy of the Most High, no person 
in the vessel received any hurt, besides what hath been 
expressed. Yet it is remarkable, that the same day, about 
the same time, two men in or near Wenham were killec 
with lightning, as they sat under a tree in the woods. 

On June the 6th, A.D. 1682, a ship called the Jamaica 
Merchant, Captain Joseph Wild commander, being thei 
in the Gulph of Florida, lat. 27 gr., about 1 h. P.M. wa 
surprized with an amazing thunder-shower. The lightnin: 



LIGHTNING 63 

split the main-mast, and knocked down one of the 
seamen, and set the ship on fire between decks in several 
places. They used utmost endeavour to extinguish the 
fire, but could not do it. Seeing they were unable to 
overcome those flames, they betook themselves to their 
boat. The fire was so furious between the cabbin and the 
deck in the steeridge, that they could not go to the relief 
of each other, insomuch that a man and his wife were 
parted. The man leaped overboard into the sea, and so 
swam to the boat ; his wife and a child were taken out of 
a gallery window into the boat. Three men more were 
saved by leaping out of the cabbin window. There were 
aboard this vessel which Heaven thus set on fire, thirty- 
four persons ; yet all escaped with their lives : for the 
gracious providence of God so ordered, as that Captain 
John Bennet was then in company, who received these 
distressed and astonished creatures into his ship : so did 
they behold the vessel burning, until about 8 h. P.M., 
when that which remained sunk to the bottom of the sea. 
The master with several of the seamen were, by Captain 
Bennet, brought safe to New England, where they de- 
clared how wonderfully they had been delivered from death, 
which G od both by fire and water had threatned them with. 

March 16, 1682-3. A ship, whereof Robert Luist is 
master, being then at sea (bound for New England), in 
lat. 27 gr., about 2 h. A.M., it began to thunder and 
lighten. They beheld three corpusants (as mariners call 
them) on the yards. The thunder grew fiercer and thicker 
than before. Suddenly their vessel was filled Avith smoke 
and the smell of brimstone, that the poor men were ter- 
rified with the apprehension of their ships being on fire. 



64 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

There came down from the clouds a stream or flame of fire, 
as big as the ships mast, which fell on the middle of the 
deck, where the mate was standing, but then was thrown 
flat upon his back, with three men more that were but a 
little distance from him. They that were yet untouched, 
thought not only that their fellow mariners had been 
struck dead, but their deck broken in pieces by that 
blow, whose sound seemed to them to exceed the report 
of many great guns fired off at once. Some that were 
less dangerously hurt, made an out-cry that their legs 
were scalded, but the mate lay speechless and senseless. 
When he began to come to himself, he made sad com- 
plaints of a burden lying upon his back. "When day came, 
they perceived their main-top-mast was split, and the 
top-sail burnt. The lightning seemed like small coals of 
fire blown overboard. 

There is one remarkable more about thunder and light- 
ning, which I am lately informed of by persons concerned 
therein : some circumstances in the relation being as won- 
derful as any of the preceding particulars. Thus it was : 
On July 24, in the year 1681, the ship called Albemarl 
(whereof Mr. Edward Ladd was then master), being an 
hundred leagues from Cape Cod, in lat. 38, about 3h. P.M., 
met with a thunder-storm. The lightning burnt the main- 
top-sail, split the main-cap in pieces, rent the mast all 
along. There was in special one dreadful clap of thunder, 
the report bigger than of a great gun, at which all the 
ships company were amazed; then did there fall some- 
thing from the clouds upon the stern of the boat, which 
broke into many small parts, split one of the pumps, the 
other pump much hurt also. It was a bituminous matter, 




LIGHTNING. - 05 

smelling much like fired gunpowder. It continued burning 
in the stern of the boat ; they did with sticks dissipate it,, 
and poured much water on it, and yet they were not able 
by all that they could do to extinguish it, until such 
time as all the matter was consumed. But the strangest 
thing of all is yet to be mentioned. When night came, 
observing the stars, they perceived that their compasses- 
were changed. As for the compass in the biddikil, the 
north point was turned clear south. There were two other 
compasses unhung in the locker in the cabin : in one of 
which the north point stood south, like that in the bid- 
dikil ; as for the other, the north point stood west, so that 
they sailed by a needle whose polarity was quite changed.. 
The seamen were at first puzzled how to work their vessel 
right, considering that the south point of their compass 
was now become north ; but, after a little use, it was easy 
to them. Thus did they sail a thousand leagues. As for 
the compass, wherein the lightning had made the needle 
to point westward, since it was brought to New-England,. 
:he glass being broke, it has, by means of the air coining 
:o it, wholly lost its vertue. One of those compasses, which 
had quite changed the polarity from north to south, is 
.till extant in Boston, and at present in my custody. The 
.iorth point of the needle doth remain fixed to this day as 
t did immediately after the lightning caused an alteration ; 
fche natural reason of which may be enquired into in the 
lext chapter. But before I pass to that, it may be, it will 
)e grateful to the reader for me here to commemorate 
ioine parellel instances, which have lately hapned in other 
>arts of the world, unto which I proceed, contenting my- 
self with one or two examples, reserving others for the 

5 



66 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

subsequent chapter, where we shall have further occasion I 
to take notice of them. 

The Authors of Ephemeridum Medico-Physicarum Ger- 
mamcarum have informed the world, that on August 14, 
1669, it thundred and lightned as if heaven and earth 
would come together. And at the house of a gentleman, 
who lived near Bergen, the fiery lightning flashed through 
four inner rooms at once ; entering into a beer cellar, 
with its force it threw down the earthen vessels, with the 
windows and doors where it came ; but the tin and iron 
vessels were partly melted, and partly burnt, with black 
spots remaining on them. Where it entred the cellar, the 
barrels were removed out of their right places ; where it 
went out, it left the taps shaking. In one room, the bind 
ing was taken off from the back of a Bible, and the margin 
was accurately cut by the lightning without hurting the 
letters, as if it had been done by the hands of some artist, 
beginning at the Revelation, and (which is wonderful) 
ending with the twelfth chapter of 1 Epistle to the 
Corinthians, which chapter fell in course to be expounded 
in public the next Lords day. Six women sitting in the 
same chimney, filled with a sulphurous and choaking mist, 
that one could scarce breathe, not far from the bed of a 
woman that was then lying-in, were struck down, the 
hangings of the room burnt, and the mother of the woman 
in child-bed lay for dead at present ; but, after a while, 
the other recovering their sences, examined what hurt was 
done to the woman thought to be dead : her kerchief was 
burnt, as if it had been done with gunpowder ; she had 
about her a silver chain, which was melted and broke into 



LIGHTNING. 67 

five parts ; her under-garments were not so much as 
singed; but just under her paps she was very much 
burnt. After she came to herself she was very sensible 
of pain in the place where the lightning had caused that 
wound. To lenifie which, womens milk was made use of ; 
but blisters arising, the dolour was increased, until a 
skilful physician prescribed this unguent : R. Mtteil, sem. 
cydoniorum c. aq. malv. half an ounce. Succ. Plantag. 
rec. an ounce and half. Lytharg. aur. subt. pwt. half 
a drachm, m. ad. fict. Whereby the inflamation was 
allayed. 

By the same authors, it is also related, that in June, 
A.D. 1671, an house was struck with lightning in four 
places ; in some places the timber was split, and in other 
places had holes made in it, as if bored through with an 
awger, but no impression of fire were any where to be 
seen. A girl, fifteen years old, sitting in the chimney, 
was struck down, and lay for dead the space of half an 
hour ; and it is probable, that she had never recovered, 
had not an able physician been sent for, who viewing her, 
perceived that the clothes about her breast were made to 
look blewish by the lightning : it had also caused her paps 
to look fiery and blackish, as if they had been scorched 
with gunpowder. Under her breast the lightning had left 
creases across her body, of a brownish colour : also, some 
creases made by the lightning, as broad as ones finger, 
run along her left leg reaching to her foot. The physician 
caused two spoonfuls of apoplectick water to be poured 
down her throat, upon which she instantly revived, com- 
plaining of a great heat in her jaws, and much pain in the 
places hurt by the lightning. Half a drachm of Pulvis 

5a 



68 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

Bezoarticus Anglicus, in the water of sweet chervil was 
given to her, which caused a plentiful sweat, whereby the 
pain in her jaws was diminished. Being still feaverish, 
an emulsion, made with poppy seed, millet, carduus 
benedictus, &c. was made use of, upon which the patient 
had ease and recovered. It appears by this, as well as 
other instances, that great care should be had of those that 
are thunder-struck, that they be not given up for quite 
dead, before all means be used in order to their being- 
revived. Paulus Zacchias, in Questionibus Medieis, giveth 
rules whereby it may be known whether persons smitten 
with lightning be dead past all recovery or no. And the 
history put forth by Jacobus Javelins, in an epistle 
emitted with his Medicince Compendium, describes the cure 
of persons struck with lightning. I have not myself seen 
those books, but whoso shall see cause to obtain and 
consult them, will I suppose find therein things worth 
their reading and consideration. Something to this pur- 
pose I find in the Scholion-, on the Germ. Epliem. for the 
year 1671, obs. 37, p. 69. The reader that is desirous to 
see more remarkable instances about thunder and light- 
ning, wherein persons living in former age were concerned, 
if he please to look into Zuinger his TJieatrum vit. Hum cm. 
vol. ii, lib. 2, p. 322, and lib. 7, p. '475, 545, and vol. iii. 
lib. 1, p. 621, and vol. v, lib. 4, p. 1371, he will find 
many notable and memorable passages which that indus- 
trious author hath collected. Though none more awful 
(to my remembrance) than that which hapned A.D. 1546, 
when Meckelen (a principal city in Brabant) was set on 
fire, and suffered a fearful conflagration by lightning ; so 
it was, that at the very time when this thunder-storm 
hapned, an inn-keeper (whose name was Croes) had in his 



LIGHTNING. 69 

house, some guests, who were playing at cards. The inn- 
keeper going into his wine-cellar to fetch drink for his 
merry guests, at that moment the furious tempest plucked 
up the house and carried it a good way off. Every one 
of the men that were playing at cards were found dead 
Avith their cards in their hands, only the inn-keeper him- 
self, being in the wine-cellar (which was arched) escaped 
with his life. 

This brings to mind a strange passage related by 
Cardan (De Va.fiet, lib. 8, c. 43), who saith, that eight 
men, sitting down together under an oak, as they were at 
vS upper, a flash of lightning smote and slew them all ; and 
they were found in the very posture that the lightning 
surprized them in : one with the meat in his mouth, 
another seemed to be drinking, another with a cup in his 
hand, which he intended to bring to his mouth, &c. 
They looked like images made black with the lightning. 

As for Scripture examples of men slain by lightning, it 
is the judgement of the judicious and learned Zuinger, that 
the Sodomites, and those 250 that being with Corah in his 
conspiracy, presumed to offer incense (Kumb. xvi, 35), 
and jSTadab and Abihu, and the two semicenturions, with 
their souldiers, who came to apprehend the prophet Elijah, 
were all killed by lightning from heaven. 




CHAPTER IV. 

SOME PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 



Concerning Antipathies and Sympathies. Of the loadstone. Of the nature 
and wonderful effects of lightning. That thunder-storms are often caused 
by Satan, and sometimes by good angels. Thunder is the voice of God 
and, therefore, to be dreaded. All places in the habitable world are 
subject to it, more or less. No amulets can preserve men from being 
hurt thereby. The miserable estate of wicked men upon this account, 
and the happiness of the righteous, who may be above all disquieting 
fears with respect unto such terrible accidents. 




thus far related many Remarkable 
Providences which have hapned in these 
goings down of the sun, and some of the 
particulars (especially in the last chapter) 
being tragical stories, the reader must give me leave upon 
this occasion, a little to divert and recreate my mind with 
some philosophical meditations, and to conclude with a 
theological improvement thereof. There are wonders in 
the works of Creation as well as Providence, the reason 
whereof the most knowing amongst mortals are not able 
to comprehend. "Dost thou know the ballancings of the 
clouds, the wondrous works of Him who is perfect in 
knowledge ? " 

I have not yet seen any who give a satisfactory reason 
of those strange fountains in New Spain, which ebb and 
flow with the sea, though far from it, and which fall 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 71 

in rainy weather, and rise in dry ; or concerning that 
pit near St. Bartholmew's, into which if one cast a stone, 
though never so small, it makes a noise as great and 
terrible as a clap of thunder. It is no difficult thing to 
produce a world of instances, concerning which, the usual 
answer is, an occult quality is the cause of this strange 
operation, which is only a fig-leaf whereby our common 
philosophers seek to hide their own ignorance. Nor may 
we (with Erastus) deny that there are marvelous sym- 
pathies and antipathies in the natures of things. We 
know that the horse does abominate the camel ; the mighty 
elephant is afraid of a mouse ; and they say that the lion, 
who scorneth to turn his back upon the stoutest animal, 
will tremble at the crowing of a cock. Some men also 
have strange antipathies in their natures against that sort 
of food Avliich others love and live upon. I have read of 
one that could not endure to eat either bread or flesh ; of 
another that fell into a swoonding fit at the smell of a 
rose ; others would do the like at the smell of vineger, or 
at the sight of an eel or a frog. There was a man that if 
he did hear the sound of a bell, , he would immediately die 
away ; another if he did happen to hear any one sweeping 
a room, an inexpressible horror would seize upon him; 
another if he heard one whetting a knife, his gumms 
would fall a bleeding; another was not able to behold a 
knife that had a sharp point without being in a strange 
agony. Quercetus speaketh of one that died as he was 
sitting at the table, only because an apple was brought 
into his sight. There are some who, if a cat accidentally 
come into the room, though they neither see it, nor are told 
of it, will presently be in a sweat, and ready to die away. 
There was lately one living in Stow-Market, that when ever 






72 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

it thunclred, would fall into a violent vomiting, and so 
continue until the thunder-storm was over. A woman had 
such an antipathy against cheese that if she did but eat a 
piece of bread, cut with a knife, which a little before had 
cut cheese, it would cause a deliquium ; yet the same 
woman when she was with child delighted in no meat so 
much as in cheese. There was lately (I know not but that 
he may be living still) a man, that if pork, or any thing 
made of swines flesh, were brought into the room, lie 
would fall into a convulsive Sardonian laughter ; nor can 
he for his heart leave as long as that object is before him, 
so that, if it should not be removed, he would certainly 
laugh himself to death. It is evident that the peculiar 
antipathies of some persons are caused by the imaginations 
of their parents. There was one that would fall into a 
syncope if either a calves head or a cabbage were brought 
near him. There were ncevi materni upon the hypocondria 
of this person ; on his right side there was the form of a 
calves head, on his left side a cabbage imprinted there by 
the imagination of his longing mother. Most wonderful is 
that which Libavius and others report, concerning a man 
that would be surprised with a lipothymy at the sight of 
his own son nay, upon his approaching near unto him, 
though he saw him not ; for which some assigned this 
reason, that the mother when she was with child, used to 
feed upon such meats as were abominable to the father 
{concerning the rationality of this conjecture see Sir 
Kenelm Digby's Discourse of Bodies, p. 409, 410); but 
others said that the midwife who brought him into the 
world was a witch. 

Nor are the sympathies in nature less wonderful than 
the antipathies. There is a mutual friendship between the 




PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 73 



olive-tree and the myrtle. There is a certain stone called 
pantarbe, which draws gold unto it ; so does the adamas 
hairs and twigs. The sympathy between the load-stone 
and iron, which do mutually attract each other, is admi- 
rable : there is no philosopher but speaketh of this ; some 
have published whole treatises (both profitable and plea- 
sant) upon this argument in special, Gilbert, Ward, 
Cabeus, Kepler, and of late Kircherus. 

I know many fabulous things have been related con- 
cerning the load-stone by inexperienced philosophers, and 
so believed by many others, e.g. that onions, or garlick, 
or ointments, will cause it to lose - its vertue. Johnston 
(and from him Dr. Browne in his Vulgar Errors} hath 
truly asserted the contrary Every one knoweth that 
the head of a needle touched therewith will continue 
pointing towards the north pole; so that the magnet 
leaveth an impression of its own nature and vertue upon 
the needle, causing it to stand pointed as the magnet 
itself doth. The loadstone it self is the hardest iron ; and 
it is a thing known, that such mines are naturally so 
(notwithstanding the report of one who saith, that lately 
in Devonshire, loadstones were found otherwise) posited in 
the earth. Just under the Line the needle lieth parallel 
with the horizon ; but sailing north or south it begins to 
incline and increase according as it approacheth to either 
pole, and would at last endeavour to erect itself ; whence 
some ascribe these strange effects to the north star, which 
they suppose to be very magnetical. There is reason to 
believe that the earth is the great magnet. Hence (as 
Mr. Seller observes), when a bar of iron has stood long 
in a window, that end of it which is next to the earth 
will have the same vertue which the loadstone it self has. 



74 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

Some place the first meridian at the Azores, because there 
the needle varies not \ but the like is to be said of some 
other parts of the world ; yea, under the very same meri- 
dian, in divers latitudes, there is a great variation as to 
the pointing of the needle. Ib is affirmed that between 
the shore of Ireland, France, Spain, Guiny, and the 
Azores, the north point varies towards the east, as some 
part of the Azores it deflecteth not. On the other side of 
the Azores, and this side of the eequator, the north point 
of the needle wheeleth to the west ; so that in the lat. 36, 
near the shore, the variation is about 11 gr., but on the 
other side of the sequator, it is quite otherwise, for in 
Brasilia the south point varies 12 gr, unto the west, but 
elongating from the coast of Brasilia toward the shore of 
Africa it varies eastward, and arriving at the Cape De las 
Aguillas, it rests in the meridian and looketh neither way. 
Dr. Browne, in his Pseudodoxia Epidemica, p. 63, does ra- 
tionally suppose that the cause of this variation may be the 
inequality of the earth, variously disposed and indifferently 
mixed with the sea. The needle driveth that way where 
the greater and most powerful part of the earth is placed; 
for whereas on this side the isles of Azores the needle 
varies eastward, it may be occasioned by that vase tract, 
viz. Europe, Asia, and Africa, seated towards the east, and 
disposing the needle that way ; sailing further it veers its 
lilly to the west, and regards that quarter wherein the 
land is nearer or greater ; and in the same latitude, as it 
approacheth the shore, augmenteth its variation ; hence, at 
Rome, there is a less variation (viz. but five degrees) than 
at London, for on the west side of Kome are seated the 
great continents of France, Spain, Germany ; but unto 
England there is almost no earth west, but the whole 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 



75 



extent of Europe and Asia lies eastward, and therefore at 
London the variation is 1 1 degrees. Thus also, by reason 
of the great continent of Brasilia, the needle deflects 
towards the land 1 2 degrees : but at the straits of 
Magellan, where the land is narrowed, and the sea on the 
other side, it varies but 5 or 6 ; so because the Cape of 
De las Aguillas hath sea on both sides near it, and other 
land remote, and as it were sequidistant from it, the needle 
conforms to the meridian. In certain creeks and vallies it 
proveth irregular, the reason whereof may be some vigo- 
rous part of the earth not far distant. Thus Dr. Browne, 
whose arguings seem rational. Some have truly observed 
of crocus martis or steel corroded with vineger, sulphur, or 
otherwise, and after reverberated by fire, that the loadstone 
will not at all attract it, nor will it adhere, but lye therein 
like sand. It is likewise certain, that the fire will cause 
the loadstone to lose its vertue, inasmuch as its bituminous 
spirits are thereby evaporated. Porta (lib. 7, cap. 7) 
saith that lie did, to his great admiration, see a sulphu- 
rous flame break out of the loadstone, which being dissi- 
pated, the stone lost its attractive vertue. Moreover, the 
loadstone, by being put into the fire, may be caused quite 
to change its polarity. The truly noble and honourable 
Robert Boyle, Esq., many of whose excellent observations 
and experiments have been advantagious, not only to the 
English nation but to the learned world, in his book of the 
Usefulness of Natural Philosophy, p. 15, hath these words : 
" Taking an oblong loadstone, and heating it red hot, 
I found the attractive faculty, in not many minutes, either 
altogether abolisht, or, at least, so impaired and weakened, 
that I was scarce, if at all, able to discern it. But this 
hath been observed, though not so faithfully related, by 



76 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

more than one ; wherefore I .shall add, That by refrige- 
rating this red hot loadstone, either north or south, I 
found that I could give its extreams a polarity (if I may 
so speak), which they would readily display upon an ex- 
cited needle freely placed in Equilibrium ; and not only 
so, but I could by refrigerating the same end, sometimes 
north and sometimes south, in a very short time change 
the poles of the loadstone at pleasure, making that which 
was a quarter of an hour before the north pole become the 
south ; and, on the contrary, the formerly southern pole 
become the northern. And this change was wrought on 
the loadstone, not only by cooling it directly north and 
south, but by cooling it perpendicularly ; that end of it 
which was contiguous to the ground growing the north- 
ern pole, and so (according to the laws magnetical) draw- 
ing to it the south end, and that which was remotest 
from the contrary one ; as if, indeed, the terrestrial globe 
were, as some magnetic philosophers have supposed it, 
but a great magnet, since its effluviums are able, in some 
cases, to impart a magnetic faculty to the loadstone it 
self." Thus far Mr. Boyle. 

Also Dr. Browne shews, that if we erect a red-hot wire 
until it cool, then hang it up with wax and untwisted 
silk where the lower end and that which cooled next the 
earth does rest, that is the northern point. And if a wire 
be heated only at one end, according as the end is cooled 
upwards or downwards, it respectively acquires a verticity. 
He also observes, if a load-stone be made red hot in the 
fire, it amits the magnetical vigor it had before, and 
acquireth another from the earth, in its refrigeration, for 
that part which cooleth next the earth will acquire the 
respect of the north ; the experiment whereof he made 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 77 

in a loadstone of parallelogram, or long square figure, 
wherein only inverting the extreames as it came out of 
the fire, he altered the poles or faces thereof at pleasure. 
Unto some such reason as this, must the wonderful change 
occasioned by the lightning in the compasses of Mr. Lad's 
vessel be ascribed ; probably the heat of the lightning 
caused the needle to lose its vertue, and the compass in. 
the bidikle might stand pointed to the south, and that 
unhung in the locker to the west, when they grew cold 
again, and accordingly continue pointing for ever after. 

There is also that which is very mysterious and beyond 
humane capacity to comprehend, in thunder and lightning. 
The thunder of his power, who can understand 1 Also, 
can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the 
noise of His Tabernacle ? Hence Eliliu said (some in- 
terpreters think there was a thunder-storm at the veiy 
instant when those words were spoken) in Job, xxxvii, 5, 

filK7lD3 &JH* He thundreth marveils. It is indeed 
manifest that these wonderful meteors are generated out of 
a nitrous and sulphurous matter. Hence it is commonly 
out of dark and thick clouds that hail and coals of fire 
break forth, Psal. xviii, 11, 12. The scent which the 
lightning useth to leave behind it, in places where it falls, 
is a sufficient evidence of its being of a sulphurous nature 
]STay, the persons (as well as places) smitten therewith 
have sometimes smelt strong of brimstone. Two years 
ago there was a ship riding at anchor in a place in France 
and a furious tempest suddenly arising, the main-mast 
was split in pieces with a clap of thunder ; the pendant 
on the top of the main-top-mast was burnt to ashes, 
twelve men were beat upon the deck, five of which lay 



78 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

for dead a considerable time, no pulse or breath being 
perceived, their eyes and teeth immovable, yet had they 
no visible wound, only an intolerable smell of brimstone; 
about half an hour after, by rubbing and forceing open 
their mouths, and pouring down some cordials, they 
recovered. At the same time six others were miserably 
burnt, their flesh being scorched, yet their garments not 
so much as singed ; their skin much discoloured. See 
Mr. Burton's Miracles of Nature, p. 181. 

Likewise, August 23, 1682. A man walking in the 
field near Darking in England was struck with a clap of 
thunder. One who was near him, ran to take him up, 
but found him dead, and his body exceeding hot, and 
withal smelling so strong of sulphur that he was forced 
to let him ly a considerable time ere he could be removed. 
It is reported, that sometimes thunder and lightning has 
been generated out of the sulphurous and bituminous 
matter which the fiery mountain JEtna hath cast forth. 
We know that when there is a mixture of nitre, sulphur, 
and unslaked lime, water will cause fire to break out. 
And when unto nitre brimstone is added, a report is 
caused thereby. And unquestionably, nitre is a special 
ingredient in the matter of thunder and lightning ; this 
we may gather from the descension of the flame, which 
descends not only obliquely but perpendicularly, and 
that argues it does so not from any external force, but 
naturally. Mr. William Clark, in his Natural History of 
Nitre, observes that if the quantity of an ounce be put in 
a fire-shovel, and a live coal put upon it, the fire-shovel 
in the bottom will be red hot, and burn through whatever 
is under it ; which demonstrates that this sort of fire does 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 79 

naturally burn downwards, when as all other fires do 
naturally ascend. For this cause Stella cadens is ration- 
ally concluded to be a nitrous substance ; the like is to be 
affirmed of the lightning. Hence also is its terrible and 
irresistable force. The nitre in gunpowder is, as the afore- 
said author expresseth it, Anima Pyrii Pulveris, sulphur 
without saltpeter has no powerful expulsion with it. 
The discharging great pieces of ordnance is fitly called 
Artificial Tliundring and Lightning, since thereby men 
do in a moment blow up houses, beat down castles, batter 
mountains in pieces. So that there is nothing in nature 
does so admirably and artificially resemble the thunder 
and lightning, both in respect of the report, and the 
terrible and sudden and amazing execution done thereby 
Flammas Jovis & sonitus imitatur Olympi : Hence as 
those that are shot with a bullet do not hear the gun, 
being struck before the report cometh to their ears, so 
is it usually with them that are thunder-struck, the light- 
ning is upon them before the noise is heard. Men com- 
monly tremble at the dreadful crack, when, as if they hear 
any thing, the danger useth to be past as to that particular 
thunder-clap ; though another may come and kill them 
before they hear it. The nitre in the lightning may 
likewise be esteemed the natural cause of its being of so 
penetrating and burning a nature. For there is not the 
like fiery substance in the world again as nitre is. Many 
have been of the opinion that there is a bolt of stone 
descending with the thunder ; but that is a vulgar error, 
the fulmeen or thunder-bolt is the same with the light- 
ning, being a nitro-sulphurious spirit. It must needs be 
a more subtile and spiritual body than any stone is of, 
that shall penetrate so as these meteors do. It is true that 



80 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

our translation reads the words in Psal. Ixxviii, 41. He 
gave their flocks to hot thunder-bolts : but the original 

word tD^)lH translated thunder-bolts, signifieth burning 
coals ; so that lightning is thereby intended. Avicenna 
doth indeed say, that he saw a thunder-bolt which fell at 
Corduba in Spain, and that it had a sulphurous smell, 
and was like ammoniac. It is possible that not only 
sulphurous and bituminous but stony substances may be 
generated in the clouds with the lightning. George 
Agricola writeth that near Lurgea, a mass of iron being 
fifty pound in weight, fell from the clouds, which some 
attempted to make swords of, but the fire could not melt 
it, nor hammers bring it into form. 

In the year 1492. At Ensishemium, a stone of three 
hundred pound weight fell from the clouds, which is kept 
a> a monument in the Temple there. And in 1581, a 
stone came out of the clouds in Thuringia, which was so 
hot that it could not be touched, with which one might 
strike fire as with a flint. There is now to be seen at 
Dresden a stone which descended out of a cloud, and is 
reserved amongst the Admiranda, belonging to the Elector 
of Saxony : some lately living were present at the fall of 
that stone. Again, An. 1618, in Bohemia, a consider- 
able quantity of brass mettal fell from the clouds. ISo 
longer since than May 28, 1677, at a village near Hana 
in Germany, there was a tempest of lightning, and a great 
multitude of stones of a green and partly cserulean colour 
fell therewith, and a considerable mass of mineral matter, 
in taste like vitriol, being pondrous and friable, having 
also metallick sparks like gold intermixed. That which 
is by some called the rain-stone or thunder-bolt, was by 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 81 

the antients termed Ceraunia, because of the smell like 
that of an horn when put into the fire, which doth attend 
it. Learned Gesner (who, in respect of his vast knowledge 
in the works of God, may be called the Solomon of the 
former age) saith, that a gentleman gave him one of those 
stones, supposing it to be a thuuder-bolt, and that it was. 
five digits in length, and three in breath. This sort of 
stone is usually in form like unto an iron wedge, and has 
an hole quite through it. Joh. de Laet, in his treatise 
de G-emmis, lib. 2, cap. 24, relates that he saw another 
of those stones. Bootius (de Gemmis, lib. 2, cap. 261) 
reports that many persons worthy of credit, affirmed that 
v hen houses or trees had been broken with the thunder,, 
they did by digging find such stones in the places where 
the stroke was given. Nevertheless, that fulminous stones- 
or thunderbolts do always descend out of the clouds, when 
such breache are made by the lightning, is (as I said) a 
vulgar error. 

The effects produced by the lightning are exceeding 
marvelous : sometimes gold, silver, brass, iron, has been 
melted thereby when the things wherein they have been 
kept, received no hurt ; yea, when the wax on the bags- 
which contained them has not been so much as melted. 
Liquors have been thereby exhausted out of vessels, when 
the vessels themselves remained untouched ; and (which 
is more wonderful) when the cask has been broken by the 
lightning, the wine has remained as it were included in a 
skin, without being spilt ; the reason whereof Serin ertus 
supposeth to be, in that the heat of the lightning did 
condense the exterior parts of the wine, It is also a very 
strange thing, which histories report concerning Marcia 
(a Koman Princess), that the child in her body was smitten 

6 



82 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

and killed with lightning, and yet the mother received no 
hurt in her own "body. It is hard to give a clear and 
satisfactory reason why if a piece of iron be laid upon the 
cask it prevents the thunder from marring the wine con- 
tained therein, and also keeps milk from turning. The 
Virtuosi of France, in their Philosophical Conferences 
(vol. ii, p. 427), suppose a sympathy between iron and 
the gross vapors of thunder and lightning. They say 
that which is commonly called the thunder-bolt does 
sometimes resemble steel, as it were to shew the corre- 
spondence that there is between iron and thunder : so 
that the air being impregnate by those noisome vapours 
which are of the same nature with iron, meeting with 
some piece of it laid on a vessel, is joyned to the iron by 
sympathy, the iron by its attractive vertue receives them, 
and by its retentive, retains them, and by that means 
prevents the effects. This conjecture is ingenious. Nor 
is it easie to give a solid reason why the lightning should 
hurt one creature rather than another. Naturalists ob- 
serve that it is so. Fetes canes et capras magis illorum 
obnoxious ictibus observatio sedula dedit, saith Johnston. 
Bartholinus conjectures the reason to be the halitus in the 
bodies of those creatures which are a fit nutriment for the 
fulminious spirits to prey upon. When fire is set to a 
train of gunpowder, it will run accordingly strait or 
crooked, upwards or downwards, as the matter it feeds 
upon is disposed : so proportionably here : but this is a 
subject for ingenious minds to enquire into. It is, more- 
over, difficult to determine how men are killed therewith, 
when no visible impression is made upon their bodies, 
Some think it is by a meer instantaneous suffocation oJ 
their animal spirits. That poysonful vapours do some 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 83 

times attend the lightning is manifest. Seneca saith, that 
wine which has been congealed with the lightning, after 
it is dissolved, and in appearance returned to its pristine 
state, it causeth the persons that shall drink of it, either 
to die or become mad. Naturalists observe that veno- 
mous creatures being struck with lightning lose their 
poyson ; the reason of which may be, not only the heat 
but the venome of those vapours attracting the poyson to 
themselves. And that vapors will kill in a moment is 
past doubt. In the Philosophical Transactions for the 
year 1665 (p. 44), it is related that seven or eight 
persons going down stairs into a coal-pit, they fell down 
dead as if they had been shot : there being one of them 
whose wife was informed that her husband was stifled, 
she went near to him without any inconvenience; but 
when she went a little further, the vapors caused her 
instantly to fall down dead. And it is famously known, 
concerning the Lake Avernus, in Campania, that if birds 
attempt to fly over it, the deadly vapors thereof kill 
them in a moment. But the lightning doth more than 
meerly suffocate with mortiferous vapors. It sometimes 
penetrates the brain, and shrivels the heart and liver, 
when nothing does appear outwardly. And it does, as 
Dr. Goodwin, in his lately published judicious discourse 
about the punishment of sinners in the other world (p. 4-4), 
aptly expresseth, lick up the vital and animal spirits that 
run in the body, when yet the body itself remains unburnt. 
Those spirits are the vinculum, the tye of union between 
the soul and body, which the lightning may consume 
without so much as singing the body or cloaths there. 
Nevertheless, upon some it leaveth direful marks, and 
breaketh their very bones in pieces, and sometimes tears 



84 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

away the flesh from the bones. There are some remark- 
able instances confirming this, published in the Philoso- 
phical Transactions. Dr. "Wallis, in a letter written at 
Oxford, May 12, 1666, giving an account of a very sad 
accident which had then newly hapned there, he saith, 
" That two scholars of Wadham Colledge, being alone in 
a boat (without a waterman) having newly thrust off from 
shore at Medley, to come homewards, standing near the 
head of the boat, were presently, with a stroke of thunder 
or lightning, both struck off out of the boat into the 
water : the one of them stark dead, in whom though 
presently taken out of the w r ater (having been by relation 
scarce a minute in it), there was not discerned any ap- 
pearance of life, sense, or motion ; the other was stuck 
fast in the mud (with his feet downwards, and his upper 
parts above water) like a post, not able to help himself 
out ; but besides a present astoiiying or immness, had no 
other hurt ; but was for the present so disturbed in his 
senses that he knew not how he came out of the boat, 
nor could remember either thunder or lightning that did 
effect it : and was very feeble and faint upon it, which, 
though presently put into a warm bed, he had not 
thoroughly recovered by the next night; and whither 
since he have or no I know not. Others in another 
boat, about ten or twenty yards from these (as by their 
description I estimate), felt a disturbance and shaking in 
their boat, and one of them had his chair struck from 
imder him, and thrown upon him, but had no hurt. 
These immediately made up to the others, and (some 
leaping into the water to them) presently drew them into 
the boat or on shore ; yet none of them saw these twc 
fall into the water (not looking that way) but heard one 




PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 85 



of them cry for help presently upon the stroke, and smelt 
a very strong stinking smell in the air ; which, when I 
asked him that told it me, what kind of stink, he said, 
like such a smell as is perceived upon the striking of 
flints together. He that, was dead (when by putting into 
a warm bed, and rubbing, and putting strong waters 
into, his mouth, &c., no life could be brought into him) 
was the next morning brought to town ; where, among 
multitudes of others who came to see, Dr. "Willis, Dr. 
Mallington, Dr. Lower, and myself, with some others, 
went to view the corps, where we found no wound at all 
in the skin ; the face and neck swart and black, but not 
more than might be ordinary, by the setling of the blood ; 
on the right side of the neck was a little blackish spott 
about an inch long, and about a quarter of an inch broad 
at the broadest, and was as if it had been seared with a 
hot iron ; and as I remember, one somewhat bigger on 
the left side of the neck below the ear. Straight down 
the breast, but towards the left side of it, was a large 
place, about three quarters of a foot in length, and about 
two inches in breadth in some places more, in some less, 
which was burnt and hard, like leather burnt with the 
fire, of a deep blackish red colour, not much unlike the 
scorched skin of a rested pig ; and on the forepart of the 
left shoulder such another spot about as big as a shilling ; 
but that in the neck was blacker and seemed more seared. 
From the top of the right shoulder, sloping downwards 
towards that place in his breast, was a narrow line of the 
like scorched skin, as if somewhat had come in there at 
the neck, and had run down to the breast, and there 
spread broader. 

" The buttons of his doublet were most of them off, which 



86 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

some thought might have been torn off with the blast get- 
ting in at the neck, and then bursting its way out ; for 
which the greatest presumption was (to me), that besides 
four or five buttons wanting towards the bottom of the 
breast, there was about half a dozen together clear off from 
the bottom of the collar downwards, and I do not remem- 
ber that the rest of the buttons did seem to be near worn 
out, but almost new. The collar of his doublet just over 
the fore-part of the right shoulder was quite broken asun- 
der, but with a blunt tool ; only the inward linen or fustian 
lining of it was whole, by which, and by the view of the 
ragg'd edges, it seemed manifest to me that it was from 
a stroke inward (from without), not outwards from within. 
" His hat was strangely torn, not just on the crown, but 
on the side of the hat, and on the brim. On the side 
of it was a great hole, more than to put in ones fist 
through it : some part of it being quite struck away, and 
from thence divers gashes every way, as if torn or cut 
with a dull tool ; and some of them of a good length, 
almost quite to the edges of the brim. And besides 
these one or two gashes more, which did not communicate 
with that hole in the side. This also was judged to be 
by a stroke inwards ; not so much from the view of the 
edges of those gashes (from which there was scarce any 
judgment to be made either way), but because the lining 
was not torn, only ript from the edge of the hat (where it 
was sown on) on that side where the hole was made. 
But his hat not being found upon his head, but at some 
distance from him, it did not appear against what part of 
his head that hole was made. 

"Another sad disaster hapned Jan. 24th, 1665-6, when 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS 87 

one Mr. Brooks of Hampshire, going from Winchester 
towards his house near Andover, in very bad weather,, 
was himself slain by lightning, and the horse he rode on 
under him ; for about a mile from Winchester he was. 
found with his face beaten into the ground, one leg in the 
stirrup, the other in the horses main ; his cloathes all 
burnt off his back, not a piece as big as an handkerchief left 
intire, and his hair and all his body singed. With the 
force that struck him down, his nose was beaten into his 
face, and his chin into his breast, where was a wound cut 
almost as low as to his navil ; and his clothes being as 
aforesaid torn, the pieces were so scattered and consumed,, 
that not enough to fill the crown of a hat could be found. 
His gloves were whole, but his hands in them singed to- 
the bone. The hip-bone and shoulder of his horse burnt 
and bruised, and his saddle torn in little pieces." 

Very remarkable also was that which hapned forty-five 
years ago at another place in England, viz., Withycomb 
in Devonshire, where, on October 21, A.D. 1638, being 
Sabbath day, whilest the people were attending the pub- 
lick worship of God, a black cloud coming over the church^ 
there was suddenly an amazing clap of thunder, and with 
it a ball of fire came in at the window, whereby the house 
was very much damnified, and the people many of them 
struck down. Some of the seats in the body of the 
church were turned upside down, yet they that sat in 
them received no hurt. A gentleman of note there (one 
Mr. Hill), sitting in his seat by the chancil, had his head 
suddenly smitten against the wall, by which blow he died 
that night. Another had his head cloven, his skull rent 
in three pieces, and his brains thrown upon the ground 



in tn 



88 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

whole. The hair of his head, through the violence of the 
blow, stuck fast to the pillar that was near him. A 
woman, attempting to run out of the church, had her 
clothes set on fire, and her flesh on her back torn almost 
to the very bone. See Mr. Clarks Examples, vol. i, chap. 
104, p. 501. 

It is not heresie to believe that Satan has sometimes a 
great operation in causing thunder-storms. I know this 
is vehemently denied by some : the late witch-advocates 
call it blasphemy ; and an old council did anathematize 
the men that are thus pers waded ; but, by their favour, 
an orthodox and rational man may be of the opinion, that 
when the devil has before him the vapors and materials out 
of which the thunder and lightning are generated, his art 
is such as that he can bring them into form. If chymists 
can make their Awum fulminans, what strange things 
way this infernal chymist effect ? The Holy Scriptures 
intimate as much as this cometh to. In the sacred story 
concerning Job, we find that Satan did raise a great wind, 
which blew down the house where Job's children were 
feasting. And it is said, chap, i, ver. 16, that the fire of 
God fell from heaven, and burnt up the sheep and the 

-servants. This D^rf*^ &8, fire of God, was no doubt 
thunder aud lightning, and such as was extraordinary, and 
is therefore expressed with the name of God, as is usual 
-amongst the Hebrews. Satan had a deep policy in going 
that way to work, thereby hoping to make Job believe 
God was his enemy. Mr. Caryl (according to his wonted 
manner) does both wittily and judiciously paraphrase upon 
the place. " The fire of God (saith he) here, is conceived 
to have been some terrible flash of lightning and it is 
the more probable, because it is said to fall down from 




PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 80 



Heaven, that is, out of the air. There Satan can do 
mighty things, command much of the magazine of Heaven, 
where that dreadful artillery which makes men tremble, 
those fiery meteors, thunder and lightning, are stored and 
lodged. Satan, let loose by God, can do wonders in the 
air: he can raise storms, he can discharge the great 
ordnance of Heaven, thunder and lightning ; and, by his 
art, can make them more terrible and dreadful than they 
are in their own nature." Satan is said to be "the Prince 
of the Power of the Air," Eph. ii, 2. And we read of the 
working of Satan with all power and signs, and lying 
words, 2 Thess. ii, 9. It is, moreover, predicted in the 
Revelation, that Antichrist should cause fire to come down 
from heaven, Rev. xiii, 13. Accordingly, we read in 
history, that some of the Popes have, by their skill iii the 
black art, caused balls of fire to be seen in the air. So 
then it is not beyond Satans power to effect such things j 
if the great God give him leave, without whose leave he 
cannot blow a feather, much less raise a thunder-storm. 
And, as the Scriptures intimate Satan's power in the air 
to be great, so histories do abundantly confirm it by 
remarkable instances. One of the scholars of Empedocles 
has testified that he saw his master raising winds and 
laying them again ; and there were once many witnesses of 
it, whence they called Empedocles Kw\v<rdve/jt.av. Clemens 
Alexandrinus mentions this as unquestionably true. Our 
great Rainold (de Ubris Apocryphis, lect. 202) saith, that 
we may from Job conclude it was not impossible for Em- 
pedocles, by the devils aid, to do as has been reported of 
him. Dio relates, that when the Roman army, in the 
dayes of the Ernperour Claudius, pursuing the Africans, 
was in extream danger of perishing by drought, a magician 



90 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

undertook to procure water for them; and presently, upon 
his incantations, an astonishing shower fell. Jovianus 
Pontanus reports, that when King Ferdinand besieged the 
city Suessa, all the waters in the cisterns being dried up, 
the citizens had like to have lost their lives by the prevailing 
drought. The Popish priests undertook, by conjuration, 
to obtain water. The magical ceremonies by them observed 
were most horrid and ridiculous : for they took an asse, 
and put the sacrament of the eucharist into his mouth, 
sang funeral verses over him, and then buried him alive 
before the church doors. As soon as these rites, so 
pleasing to the devil, were finished, the heavens began to 
look black, and the sea to be agitated with winds, and 
anon it rained and lightned after a most horrendous manner. 
Smetius, in his Miscellanies, lib. 5, relates, that a girl, 
foolishly imitating the ceremonies of her nurse, whom she 
had sometimes seen raising tempests, immediately a pro- 
digious storm of thunder and lightning hapned, so as that 
a village near Lipsia was thereby set on fire. This relation 
is mentioned by Sennertus as a thing really true. At 
some places in Denmark, it is a common and a wicked 
practice to buy winds, when they are going to sea. If 
Satan has so far the power of the air as to cause winds, 
he may cause storms also. Livy reports, concerning 
Romulus, that he was by a tempest of thunder and light- 
ning transported no man knew whither, being after that 
never heard of. Meurerus (in Comment. Meteorolog.) 
speaketh of a man, that going between Lipsia, and Torga, 
was suddenly carried out of sight by a thunder-storm, and 
never seen more. And the truth of our assertion seems 
to be confirmed by one of those sad effects of lightning men- 
tioned in the preceding chapter ; for I am informed, that 



. 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 91 

when Matthew Cole was killed with the lightning at 
North-Hampton, the daemons which disturbed his sister, 
Ann Cole (forty miles distant), in Hartford, spoke of it, 
intimating their concurrence in that terrible accident. 

The Jewish rabbins affirm, that all great and suddain 
destructions are from Satan, the angel of death. That he 
has frequently an hand therein is past doubt : and if the 
fallen angels are able (when God shall grant them a com- 
mission) to cause fearful and fatal thunders, it is much 
more true concerning the good and holy angels. 2 Kings 
i, 14, 15. When the law was given at Mount Sinai, 
there were amazing thundrings and lightnings, wherein 
the great God saw meet to make use of the ministry of 
holy angels (Acts vii, 53; Gal. iii, 19; Heb. ii, 2). Some 
think that Sodom was destroyed by extraordinary lightning. 
Its certain that holy angels had an hand in effecting that 
desolation, Gen. xix, 13. We know that one night the 
angel of the Lord smote in the camp of the Assyrians 
185,000. It is not improbable but that those Assyrians 
were killed with lightning; for it was with respect to that 
tremendous providence that those words were uttered 
"Who amongst us shall dwell with the devouring fire?" 
Isa. xxxiii, 1 4. Ecclesiastical history informs us, that the 
Jews, being encouraged by the apostate Julian, were 
resolved to re-build their temple, but lightning from 
heaven consumed not only their work, but all their tools 
and instruments wherewith that cursed enterprize was to 
have been carried on, so was their design utterly frustrate, 
Why might not holy angels have an hand in that light- 
ning ? There occurs to my mind a remarkable passage, 
mentioned by Dr. Beard, in his chapter about the protec- 
tion of holy angels over them that fear God (p. 443). He 



92 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

saith, that a certain man, travelling between two woods in 
a great tempest of thunder and lightning, rode under an 
oak to shelter himself ; but his horse would by no means 
stay under that oak, but, whither his master would or no, 
went from that tree, and stayed very quietly under another 
tree not far off. He had not been there many minutes 
before the first oak was torn all to fitters with a fearful 
clap of thunder and lightning. Surely there was the 
invisible guardianship of an holy angel in that providence. 
But though it be true, that both natural causes and 
angels do many times concurre when thunder and lightning, 
with the awful effects thereof, happen, nevertheless, the 
supream cause must not be disacknowledged : the Eternal 
Himself has a mighty hand of providence in such works. 
He thundreth with the voice of His excellency. Among 
the Greeks thunder was stiled <f>wn Aios, and the Scrip- 
ture calls it "The Voice of the Lord." "The God of 
glory thundreth." " The voice of the Lord is very pow- 
erful ; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty ; the voice 
of the Lord breaketh the cedars ; the voice of the Lord 
divideth the flames of fires." Lightnings are also said to 
be "the arrows of God," Psalm xviii, 14; upon which 
account the children of men ought to dread the hand of 
the Highest therein. And the more, for that all places in 
the habitable world are exposed unto dangers and destruc- 
tion by the artillery of Heaven : though some parts of the 
earth are naturally subject thereunto more than others. 
Acosta saith, that it seldom thunders about Brazil ; but 
such lightnings are frequent there as make the night 
appear brighter than the noon-day. Travellers report, 
that there are some snowy mountains in Africa, on which 
the cracks of thunder are so loud and vehement as that 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 



93 



they are heard fifty miles off at sea. In some parts of 
Tartaria it will both snow and thunder at the same time. 
Inthenorthern,climates there use to be vehement thunders, 
and men are often struck dead thereby. In the province 
of Terravara in Spain grows the wood for the cross, 
to which superstitious Papists attribute a power to preserve 
men from thunder. So did the Gentiles of old vainly 
think to secure themselves from Heavens gun-shot, by 
carrying those things about them which they suppose 
would be as amulets to defend them from all harm. The 
tents of the old emperors were made of seal-leather, because 
they imagined that the sea-calf could not be thunder- 
struck. Tyberius wore a crown of laurel upon his head, 
for that the philosophers told him the lightning could not 
hurt the bay-tree. Rodiginus confirms the like concerning 
the fig-tree. But others declare they have seen the laurel 
smitten and withered with lightning; therefore, the Conim- 
bricensian philosophers acknowledge this immunity to be 
fictitious. The like vanity is in their opinion who suppose 
that the stone by philosophers called brontias, i.e., the 
thunder-bolt, will secure them from harm by lightning. 
To conclude, most miserable is the state of all Christless 
sinners, who know not but that every thunder-storm 
ich comes may send them to hell in a moment. 






Hi sunt qui trepidant et ad omnia fulgura pallent, 
Cum tonat, exanimes primo quoque murmure cceli. 



The Psalmist alludes to a thunder storm, when he 
saith, " The Lord will rain upon the wicked snares " (the 
lightning cometh suddenly, and taketh men as birds, in 
a snare before they think of it), " fire and brimstone, and 

tempest of horrors." Psalm xi, 6. The atheism of 






94 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

Epicurus of old (and of some in these dayes), who taught, 
that inasmuch as thunder proceeds from natural causes, 
it is a childish thing for men to have an awe upon their 
hearts when they hear that voice. I say such atheism is 
folly and wickedness ; for the great God " maketh the 
way for the lightning of thunder ; " nor does it ever miss 
or mistake its way, but alwayes lights where God has 
appointed it. Job xxviii, 26. He directs the lightning 
under the whole heaven, and unto the ends of the earth : 
after it a voice roareth, that they may do whatsoever he 
commanded them upon the face of the world in the earth. 
Job xxxvii, 3, 12. Yea, and good men should from this 
consideration be incited to endeavour that their garments 
be kept from defilement, and that they be alwayes walking 
with God, since they know not but that death may come 
upon them by such a way and by such means as this. As 
to outward evils, there is one event to the righteous and 
to the wicked ; to him that sacrificeth and to him that 
sacrificeth not ; as is the good so is the sinner. The 
examples mentioned in the preceding chapter do confirm 
it, since divers of those whom the thunder killed were 
good men. And they that are in Christ, and who make 
it their design to live unto God, need not be dismayed at 
the most terrifying thunder-claps, no more than a child 
should be afraid when he hears the voice of his loving 
father. Notable is that passage, related by Mr. Ambrose, 
in his Treatise of Angels (p. 265, and by Mr. Clark, 
vol. i, p. 512). A prophane man, who was also a perse- 
cutor of Mr. Bolton, riding abroad, it thundred very dread- 
fully,' at the which the man greatly trembled ; his wife, 
who was eminent for godliness, being with him, asked why 
he was so much afraid ? To whom he replied : Are not 



PHILOSOPHICAL MEDITATIONS. 



95 



you afraid to hear these dreadful thunder claps'? No (saith 
she), not at all, for I know it is the voice of my Heavenly 
Father: and should a child be afraid to hear his fathers 
voice? At the which the man was amazed, concluding with 
himself, these Puritans have a divine principle in them, 
which the world seeth not, that they should have peace and 
serenity in their souls when others are filled with dismal 
fears and horrors. He thereupon went to Mr. Bolton, 
bewailing the wrong he had done him, begging his pardon 
and prayers, and that he would tell him what he must do 
that so his soul might be saved : and he became a very 
godly man ever after. This was an happy thunder-storm. 




CHAPTER V. 

CONCERNING THINGS PRETERNATURAL WHICH HAVE 
HAPNED IN NEW ENGLAND. 

A remarkable relation about Ann Cole, of Hartford. Concerning several 
witches in that colony. Of the possessed maid at Groton. An account 
of the house in Newberry lately troubled with a daemon. A parallel 
story of an house at Tedworth, in England. Concerning another in 
Hartford. And of one in Portsmouth, in New-England, lately dis- 
quieted by evil spirits. The relation of a woman at Barwick, in New- 
England, molested with apparitions, and sometimes tormented by 
invisible agents. 

N'ASMUCH as things which are preternatural, 
and not accomplished without diabolical 
operation, do more rarely happen, it is pity 
but that they should be observed. Several 
accidents of that kind have hapned in New-England, 
which I shall here faithfully relate, so far as I have been 
able to come unto the knowledge of them. 

Very remarkable was that Providence wherein Ann Col( 
of Hartford in New-England was concerned. She was 
and is accounted, a person of real piety and integrity 
nevertheless, in the year 1662, then living in her father; 
house (who has likewise been esteemed a godly man), sh< 
was taken with very strange fits, wherein her tongue wa; 
improved 1 >y a daemon to express tilings which she hersel 
knew nothing of ; sometimes the discourse would hold fo 




THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 97 

a considerable time ; the general purpose of which was, 
that such and such persons (who were named in the dis- 
course which passed from her) were consulting how they 
might carry on mischievous designs against her and several 
others, mentioning sundry wayes they should take for 
that end, particularly that they would afflict her body,, 
spoil her name, &c. The general answer made amongst 
the daemons was, " She runs to the rock." This having; 
continued some hours, the daemons said, " Let us confound, 
her language, that she may tell no more tales." She- 
uttered matters unintelligible. And then the discourse > 
passed into a Dutch tone (a Dutch family then lived in, 
the town), and therein an account was given of some 
afflictions that had befallen divers ; amongst others, what 
had befallen a woman that lived next neighbour to the, 
Dutch family, whose arms had been strangely pinched in, 
the night, declaring by whom and for what cause that 
course had been taken with her. The Eeverend Mr. Stone, 
(then teacher of the church in Hartford) being by, when, 
the discourse hapned, declared that he thought it im- 
possible for one not familiarly acquainted with the Dutch 
(which Ann Cole had not in the least been) should sa 
exactly imitate the Dutch tone in the pronunciation of 
English. Several worthy persons (viz., Mr. John Whiting 
Mr. Samuel Hooker, and Mr. Joseph Haines) wrote the 
intelligible sayings expressed by Ann Cole, whilest she 
was thus amazingly handled. The event was, that one of 
the persons (whose name was Greensmith, being a lewd 
and ignorant woman, and then in prison on suspicion for 
witchcraft) mentioned in the discourse as active in the 
mischief clone and designed, was by the magistrate sent 
for ; Mr. Whiting and Mr. Haines read what they had 



98 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

written, and the woman being astonished thereat, confessed 
those things to be true, and that she and other persons 
named in this preternatural discourse, had had familiarity 
with the devil. Being asked whether she had made an 
express covenant with him, she answered, she had not, 
only as she promised to go with him when he called, 
which accordingly she had sundry times done, and that 
the devil told her that at Christmass they would have a' 
merry meeting, and then the covenant between them 
should be subscribed. The next day she was more par- 
ticularly enquired of concerning her guilt respecting the 
crime she was accused with. She then acknowledged, that 
though when Mr. Haines began to read what he had taken 
down in writing, her rage was such that she could have 
torn him in pieces, and was as resolved as might be to 
deny her guilt (as she had done before), yet after he had 
read awhile, she was (to use her own expression) as if her 
flesh had been pulled from her bones, and so could not 
deny any longer : she likewise declared, that the devil first 
appeared to her in the form of a deer or fawn, skipping 
about her, wherewith she was not much affrighted, and 
that by degrees he became very familiar, and at last would 
talk with her ; moreover she said that the devil had fre- 
quently the carnal knowledge of her body ; and that the 
witches had meetings at a place not far from her house , 
and that some appeared in one shape, and others in 
another ; and one came flying amongst them in the shape 
of a crow. Upon this confession, with other concurrenl 
evidence, the woman was executed ; so likewise was hei 
husband, though he did not acknowledge himself guilty 
Other person accused in the discourse made their escape 
Thus doth the devil use to serve his clients. After th 



THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 99 

suspected witches were either executed or fled, Ann Cole 
was restored to health, and has continued well for many 
years, approving herself a serious Christian. 

There were some that had a mind to try whether the 
stories of witches not being able to sink under water were 
true ; and accordingly a man and woman, mentioned in 
Ann Cole's Dutch-toned discourse, had their hands and 
feet tyed, and so were cast into the water, and they both 
apparently swam after the manner of a buoy, part under, 
part above the water. A by-stander, imagining that any 
person bound in that posture would be so borne up, offered 
himself for trial ; but being in the like matter gently laid 
on the water, he immediately sunk right down. This 
was no legal evidence against the suspected persons, nor 
were they "proceeded against on any such account ; how- 
ever, doubting that an halter would choak them, though 
the waters would not, they very fairly took their flight, 
not having been seen in that part of the world since. 
Whether this experiment were lawful, or rather super- 
stitious and magical, we shall (<rw 0ea>) enquire afterwards. 

Another thing which caused a noise in the countrey, 
and wherein Satan had undoubtedly a great influence, 
was that which hapned at Groton. There was a maid 
in that town (one Elizabeth Knap) who in the moneth 
of October, anno 1671, was taken after a very strange 
manner, sometimes weeping, sometimes laughing, some- 
times roaring hideously, with violent motions and agita- 
tions of her body, crying out " Money, money," etc. In 
November following, her tongue for many hours together 
was draw like a semicircle up to the roof of her mouth, 
not to be removed, though some tried with their fingers 

7a 



100 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

to do it. Six men were scarce able to hold her in some 
of her fits, but she would skip about the house yelling 
and looking with a most frightful aspect. December 17 : 
Her tongue was drawn out of her mouth to an extraor- 
dinary length; and now a daemon began manifestly to 
speak in her. Many words were uttered wherein are 
labial letters, without any motion of her lips, which was 
a clear demonstration that the voice was not her own. 
Sometimes words were spoken seeming to proceed out 
of her throat, when her mouth was shut : sometimes 
with her mouth wide open, without the use of any of the 
organs of speech. The things then uttered by the devil 
were chiefly railings and revilings of Mr. "Willard (who 
was at that time a worthy and faithful pastor to the 
church in Groton). Also the daemon belched forth most 
horrid and nefandous blasphemies, exalting himself above 
the Most High. After this she was taken speechless for 
some time. One thing more is worthy of remark con- 
cerning this miserable creature. She cried out in some 
of her fits, that a woman (one of her neighbours) appeared 
to her, and was the cause of her affliction. The person 
thus accused was a "very sincere, holy woman, who did 
hereupon, with the advice of friends, visit the poor wretch ; 
and though she was in one of her fits, having her eyes 
shut, when the innocent person impeached by her came 
in, yet could she (so powerful were Satans operations upon 
her) declare who was there, and could tell the touch of 
that woman from any ones else. But the gracious party, 
thus accused and abused by a malicious devil, prayed 
earnestly with and for the possessed creature ; after which 
she confessed that Satan had deluded her, making hei 
believe evil of her good neighbour without any cause 



THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 



101 



Xor did she after that complain of any apparition or 
disturbance from such an one. Yea, she said, that the 
devil had himself, in the likeness and shape of divers, 
tormented her, and then told her it was not he but they 
that did it. 

As there have been several persons vexed with evil 
spirits, so divers houses have been wofully haunted by 
them. In the year 1679, the house of William Morse, 
in dewberry in New-England, was strangely disquieted 
by a daemon. After those troubles began, he did, by the 
advice of friends, write down the particulars of those 
unusual accidents. And the account which he giveth 
thereof is as folio weth : 

On December 3, in the night time, he and his wife 
heard a noise upon the roof of their house, as if sticks and 
stones had been thrown against it with great violence ; 
whereupon he rose out of his bed, but could see nothing. 
Locking the doors fast, he returned to bed again. About 
midnight they heard an hog making a great noise in the 
house, so that the man rose again, and found a great hog 
in the house ; the door being shut, but upon the opening 
of the door it ran out. 

On December 8, in the morning, there were five great 
stones and bricks by an invisible hand thrown in at the 
west end of the house while the mans wife was making 
the bed ; the bedstead was lifted up from the floor, and 
the bedstaff flung out of the window, and a cat was hurled 
at her ; a long staff danced up and down the chimney ; 
a burnt brick, and a piece of a weather-board, were thrown 
in at the window. The man at his going to bed, put out 
his lamp, but in the morning found that the saveall of it 



102 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

was taken away, and yet it was unaccountably brought 
into its former place. On the same day the long staff, 
but now spoken of, was hang'd up by a line, and swung 
to and fro ; the man's wife laid it in the fire, but she 
could not hold it there, inasmuch as it would forcibly fly 
out ; yet after much ado, with joynt strength they made 
it to burn. A shingle flew from the window, though no 
body near it; many sticks came in at the same place, only 
one of these was so scragged that it could enter the hole 
but a little way, whereupon the man pusht it out; a great 
rail likewise was thrust in at the window, so as to break 
the glass. 

At another time an iron crook that was hanged on a 
nail, violently flew up and down ; also a chair flew about, 
and at last lighted on the table where victuals stood ready 
for them to eat, and was likely to spoil all, only by a 
nimble catching they saved some of their meal with the 
loss of the rest and the overturning of their table. 

People were sometimes barricado'd out of doors, when 
as yet there was nobody to do it ; and a chest was re- 
moved from place to place, no hand touching it. Their 
keys being tied together, one was taken from the rest, and 
the remaining two would fly about making a loud noise 
by knocking against each other. But the greatest part 
of this devils feats were his mischievous ones, wherein 
indeed he was sometimes antick enough too, and therein 
the chief sufferers were, the man and his wife, and his 
grand-son. The man especially had his share in these 
diabolical molestations. For one while they could not 
eat their suppers quietly, but had the ashes or. the hearth 
before their eyes thrown into their victuals, yea, and 
upon their heads and clothes, insomuch that they were 




THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 103 

forced up into their chamber, and yet they had no rest 
there; for one of the man's shoes being left below, it was 
filled with ashes and coals, and thrown up after them. 
Their light was beaten out, and, they being laid in their 
bed with their little boy between them, a great stone 
(from the floor of the loft) weighing above three pounds- 
was thrown upon the man's stomach, and he turning it 
down upon the floor, it was once more thrown upon him. 
A box and a board were likewise thrown upon them all; 
and a bag of hops was taken out of their chest, therewith 
they were beaten, till some of the hops were scattered oil 
the floor, where the bag was then laid and left. 

In another evening, when they sat by the fire, the ashes- 
were so whirled at them, that they could neither eat their 
meat nor endure the house. A peel struck the man in 
the face. An apron hanging by the fire was flung upon 
it, and singed before they could snatch it off. The man 
being at prayer with his family, a beesoni gave him a 
blow on his head behind, and fell down before his face. 

On another day, when they were winnowing of barley,, 
some hard dirt was thrown in, hitting the man on the 
head, and both the man and his wife on the back ; and 
when they had made themselves clean, they essayed to fill 
their half -bushel; but the foul com was in spite of them 
often cast in amongst the clean, and the man, being divers 
times thus abused, was forced to give over what he was 
about. 

On January 23 (in particular), the man had an iron pin, 
twice thrown it him, and his inkhorn was taken away from 
him while he was writing ; and when by all his seeking it 
he could not find it, at last he saw it drop out of the air, 
down by the fire. A piece of leather was twice thrown 






104 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

at him; and a shoe was laid upon his shoulder, which he 
catching at, was suddenly rapt from him. An handful of 
ashes was thrown at his face, and upon his clothes ; and 
the shoe was then clapt upon his head, and upon it he 
clapt his hand, holding it so fast, that somewhat unseen 
pulled him with it backward on the floor. 

On the next day at night, as they were going to bed, a 
lost ladder was thrown against the door, and their light 
put out ; and when the man was a bed, he was beaten 
with an heavy pair of leather breeches, and pull'd by the 
hair of his head and beard, pinched and scratched, and his 
bed-board was taken away from him. Yet more : in the 
next night, when the man was likewise a bed, his bed- 
board did rise out of its place, notwithstanding his putting 
forth all his strength to keep it in ; one of his awls was 
brought out of the next room into his bed, and did prick 
him ; the clothes wherewith he hoped to save his head 
from blows, were violently pluckt from thence. Within a 
night or two after, the man and his wife received both of 
them a blow upon their heads, but it was so dark that 
they could not see the stone which gave it. The man had 
Iris cap pulled off from his head while he sat by the fire. 

The night following they went to bed undressed, 
because of their late disturbances, and the man, wife, boy, 
presently felt themselves pricked, and upon search, found 
in the bed a bodkin, a knitting-needle, and two sticks 
picked at both ends ; he received also a great blow, as on 
liis thigh, so on his face, which fetched blood ; and while 
.he was writing, a candlestick was twice thrown at him ; 
3-nd a great piece of bark fiercely smote him ; and a pail 
of water turned up without hands. 

On the 28th of the mentioned moneth, frozen clods of 



THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 



105 



cow-dung were divers times thrown at the man out of the 
house in which they were. His wife went to milk the 
cow, and received a blow on her head ; and sitting down 
at her milking work, had cow-dung divers times thrown 
into her pail. The man tried to save the milk, by holding 
a piggin side-wayes under the cowes belly ; but the dung 
would in for all, and the milk was only made fit for hogs. 
On that night, ashes were thrown into the porridge which 
they had made ready for their supper, so as that they 
could not eat it ; ashes were likewise often thrown into 
the man's eyes as he sat by the fire ; and an iron hammer 
flying at him, gave him a great blow on his back. The 
man's wife going into the cellar for beer, a great iron peel 
flew and fell after her through the trap-door of the cellar; 
and going afterwards on the same errand to the same 
place, the door shut down upon her, and the table came 
and lay upon the door, and the man was forced to remove 
it e'er his wife could be released from where she was. On 
the following day, while he was writing, a dish went out 
of its place, leapt into the pale, and cast water upon the 
man, his paper, his table, and disappointed his procedure 
in what he was about ; his cap jurnpt off from his head, 
and on again, and the pot-lid leapt off from the pot into 
the kettle on the fire. 

February 2. While he and his boy were eating of 
cheese, the pieces which he cut were wrested from them, 
but they were afterwards found upon the table, under an 
apron and a pair of breeches ; and also from the fire arose 
little sticks and ashes, which flying upon the man and his 
boy, brought them into an uncomfortable pickle. But as 
for the boy, which the last passage spoke of, there remains 
much to be said concerning him and a principal sufferer in 



106 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

these afflictions : for on the 18th of December, he sitting by 
his grandfather, was hurried into great motions, and the 
man thereupon took him, and made him stand between his 
legs ; but the chair danced up and down, and had like to 
have cast both man and boy into the fire ; and the child 
was afterwards flung about in such a manner, as that they 
feared that his brains would have been beaten out; and in 
the evening he was tossed as afore, and the man tried the 
project of holding him, but ineffectually. The lad was 
soon put to bed, and they presently heard an huge noise, 
and demanded what was the matter 1 and he answered, 
that his bedstead leaped up and down ; and they (i.e. the 
man and his wife) went up, and at first found all quiet, 
but before they had been there long, they saw the board 
by his bed trembling by him, and the bed-clothes flying 
off him ; the latter they laid on immediately, but they 
were no sooner on than off; so they took him out of his 
bed for quietness. 

December 29. The boy was violently thrown to and 
fro, only they carried him to the house of a doctor in the 
town, and there he was free from disturbances; but 
returning home at night, his former trouble began, and 
the man taking him by the hand, they were both of them 
almost tript into the fire. They put him to bed and he 
was attended with the same iterated loss of his clothes, 
shaking off his bed-board, and noises that he had in his 
last conflict ; they took him up, designing to sit by the 
fire, but the doors clattered, and the chair was thrown at 
him; wherefore they carried him to the doctors house, and 
so for that night all was well. The next morning he came 
home quiet; but as they were doing somewhat, he cried 
out that he was prickt on the back ; they looked, and 




THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 107 



found a three-tin'd fork sticking strangely there ; which 
being carried to the doctors house, not only the doctor 
himself said that it was his, but also the doctors servant 
affirmed it was seen at home after the boy was gone. The 
boys vexations continuing, they left him at the doctors, 
where he remained well till awhile after, and then he com- 
plained he was pricked; they looked and found an iron 
spindle sticking below his back : he complained he was 
pricked still ; they looked, and found there a long iron, a 
bowl of a spoon, and a piece of a pansheard. They lay 
down by him on the bed, with the light burning, but he 
was twice thrown from them, and the second time thrown 
quite under the bed. In the morning the bed was tossed 
about, with such a creaking noise as was heard to the 
neighbours. In the afternoon their knives were, one after 
another, brought, and put into his back, but pulled out by the 
spectators ; only one knife, which was missing, seemed 
to the standers by to come out of his mouth. He was 
bidden to read; his book was taken and thrown about 
several times, at last hitting the boys grandmother on the 
head. Another time he was thrust out of his chair, and 
rolled up and down, with outcries that all things were on 
fire ; yea, he was three times very dangerously thrown into 
the fire, and preserved by his friends with much ado. The 
boy also made, for a long time together, a noise like a dog r 
and like an hen with her chickens, and could not speak 
rationally. 

Particularly, on December 26, he barked like a dog,, 
and clock't like an hen; and after long distraining to 
speak, said, " There's Powel, I am pinched." His tongue 
likewise hung out of his mouth, so that it could by no 
means be forced in till his fit was over, and then he said 



108 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

'twas forced out by Powel. He and the house also after 
this had rest till the 9th of January ; at which time the 
child, because of his intolerable ravings, lying between the 
man and his wife, was pulled out of bed, and knockt vehe- 
mently against the bedstead boards, in a manner very 
perillous and amazing. In the day-time he was carried 
away beyond all possibility of their finding him. His 
grandmother at last saw him creeping on one side, and 
drag'd him in, where he lay miserable lame ; but recovering 
his speech, he said, that he was carried above the doctors 
house, and that Powel carried him : and that the said 
Powel had him into the barn, throwing him against the 
cart-wheel there, and then thrusting him out at an hole ; 
and accordingly they found some of the remainders of the 
threshed barley, which was on the barn-floor, hanging to 
his clothes. 

At another time he fell into a swoon; they forced some- 
what refreshing into his mouth, and it was turned out as 
fast as they put it in ; e'er long he came to himself, and 
expressed some willingness to eat, but the meat would 
forcibly fly out of his mouth ; and when he was able to 
speak, he said Powel would not let him eat. Having 
found the boy to be best at a neighbours house, the man 
carried him to his daughters, three miles from his own. 
The boy was growing antick as he was on the journey, but 
before the end of it he made a grievous hollowing ; and 
when he lighted, he threw a great stone at a maid in the 
house, and fell on eating of ashes. Being at home after- 
wards, they had rest awhile : but on the 19th of January, 
in the morning he swooned, and coming to himself, he 
roared terribly, and did eat ashes, sticks, rug-yarn. The 
morning following, there was such a racket with the boy 



THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 109 

that the man and his wife took him to bed to them : a bed- 
staff was thereupon thrown at them, and a chamber-pot 
with its contents was thrown upon them, and they were 
severely pinched. The man being about to rise, his clothes 
were divers times pulled from them, himself thrust out of his 
bed, and his pillow thrown after him. The lad also would 
have his clothes plucked off from him in these winter 
nights, and was wofully dogg'd with such fruits of devilish 
spite, till it pleased God to shorten the chain of the wicked 
daemon. 

All this while the devil did not use to appear in any 
visible shape, only they would think they had hold of the 
hand that sometimes scratched them ; but it would give 
them the slip. And once the man was discernably beaten 
$y a fist, and an hand got hold of his wrist, which he saw 
but could not catch; and the likeness of a blackmore 
child did appear from under the rugg and blanket, where 
the man lay, and it would rise up, fall down, nod, and slip 
under the clothes, when they endeavoured to clasp it, 
never speaking anything. 

Neither were there many words spoken by Satan all this 
time ; only once, having put out their light, they heard a 
scraping 011 the boards, and then a piping and drumming 
011 them, which was followed with a voice, singing, 
" Revenge ! Revenge ! Sweet is revenge ! " And they 
being well terrified with it, called upon God : the issue of 
which was, that suddenly, with a mournful note, there 
were six times over uttered such expressions as, " Alas ! 
me knock no more ! me knock no more ! " and now all 
ceased. 

The man does, moreover, affirm that a seaman (being 
a mate of a ship) coming often to visit him told him, that 



110 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

they wronged his wife who suspected her to be guilty of 
witchcraft ; and that the boy (his grandchild) was the 
cause of this trouble ; and that if he would let him have 
the boy one day, he would warrant him his house should 
be no more troubled as it had been. To which motion he 
consented. The mate came the next day betimes, and the 
boy was with him until night ; since which time his house, 
he saith, has not been molested with evil spirits. 

Thus far is the relation concerning the daemon at 
William Morse his house in Newberry. The true reason of 
these strange disturbances is as yet not certainly known : 
some (as has been hinted) did suspect Morse's wife to be 
guilty of witchcraft. 

One of the neighbours took apples, which were brought 
out of that house, and put them into the fire; upon which, 
they say, their houses were much disturbed. Another of 
the neighbours caused an horse-shoe to be nailed before 
the doors ; and as long as it remained so, they could not 
perswade the suspected person to go into the house ; but 
when the horse-shoe was gone, she presently visited them. 
I shall not here inlarge upon the vanity and superstition 
of those experiments, reserving that for another place; all 
that I shall say at present is, that the daemons, whom the 
blind Gentiles of old worshipped, told their servants, that 
such things as these would very much affect them ; yea, 
and that certain characters, signs, and charms, would 
render their power ineffectual; and accordingly they 
would become subject, when their own directions were 
obeyed. It is sport to the devils when they see silly men 
thus deluded and made fools of by them. Others were 
apt to think that a seaman, by some suspected to be a 
conjuror, set the devil on work thus to disquiet Morse's 



THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 



Ill 



family ; or, it may be, some other thing, as yet kept hid 
in the secrets of Providence, might be the true original of 
all this trouble. 

A disturbance not much unlike to this hapned above 
twenty years ago, at an house in Tedworth, in the county 
of Wilts, in England, which was by wise men judged to 
proceed from conjuration. 

" Mr. Mompesson of Tedworth being in March, 1661, 
at Lndgershall, and hearing a drum beat there, he de- 
manded of the bailiff of the town what it meant ; who 
told him, they had for some dayes been troubled with an 
idle drummer, pretending authority and a pass under the 
hands of some gentlemen. Mr. Mompesson reading his 
pass, and knowing the hands of those gentlemen whose 
names were pretended to be subscribed, discovered the 
cheat, and commanded the vagrant to put off his drum, 
and ordered a constable to secure him ; but not long after 
he got clear of the constable. In April following, Mr. 
Mompesson's house was much disturbed with knockings 
and with drummings; for an hour together a daemon 
would beat Eound-heads and Cuckolds, the tattoo and 
several other points of war, as well as any drummer. On 
November 5, the daemon made a great noise in the house, 
and caused some boards therein to move to and fro in the 
day time, when there was an whole room full of people 
present. At his departure, he left behind him a sul- 
phurous smell, which was very offensive. The next 
night, chairs walked up and down the room ; the childrens 
shoes were hurled over their heads. The minister of the 
town being there, a bedstaff was thrown at him, and hit 
on the leg, but without the least hurt. In the latter 




112 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

end of December, 1662, they heard a noise like the 
jingling of money, the occasion of which was thought to 
be, some words spoken the night before by one in the 
family, who said that fairies used to leave money behind 
them, and they wished it might be so now. In January, 
lights were seen in the house, which seemed blue and 
glimmering, and caused a great stiffness in the eyes of 
them that saw them. One in the room (by what authority 
I cannot tell) said * Satan, if the drummer set thee a 
work, give three knocks and no more ; ' which was done 
accordingly. Once, when it was very sharp severe wea- 
ther, the room was suddenly filled with a noisome smell, 
and was very hot, though without fire. This daemon 
would play some nasty and many ludicrous foolish tricks. 
It would empty chamber-pots into the beds; and fill 
porringers with ashes. Sometimes it would not suffer 
any light to be in the room, but would carry them away 
up the chimney. Mr. Mompesson coming one morning 
into his stable, found his horse on the ground, having 
one of his hinder legs in his mouth, and so fastened there 
that it was difficult for several men with a leaver to get 
it out. A smith, lodging in the house, heard a noise in 
the room as if one had been shoeing an horse, and some- 
what come as it were with a pincers snipping at the 
smith's nose, most part of the night. The drummer was 
under vehement suspicion for a conjuror. He was con- 
demned to transportation. All the time of his restraint 
and absence, the house was quiet." See Mr. Glanvil's 
Collection of Modern Relations, p. 71, &c. 

But I proceed to give an account of some other things 
lately hapning in New-England, which were undoubtedly 



THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 113 

prseternatural, and not without diabolical operation. The 
last year did afford several instances, not unlike unto 
those which have been mentioned. For then Nicholas 
Desborough, of Hartford in New-England, was strangely 
molested by stones, pieces of earth, cobs of Indian corn, 
&c., falling upon and about him, which sometimes came in 
through the door, sometimes through the window, some- 
times down the chimney ; at other times they seemed to 
fall from the floor of the chamber, which yet was very 
close ; sometimes he met with them in his shop, the yard 
the barn, and in the field at work. In the house, such 
things hapned frequently, not only in the night but in the 
day time, if the man himself was at home, but never when 
his wife was at home alone. There was no great violence 
in the motion, though several persons of the family, and 
others also, were struck with the things that were thrown 
by an invisible hand, yet they were not hurt thereby. 
Only the man himself had once his arm somewhat pained 
by a blow given him ; and at another time, blood was 
drawn from one of his legs by a scratch given it. This 
molestation began soon after a controversie arose between 
Desborough and another person, about a chest of clothes 
which the other said that Desborough did unrighteously 
retain: and so it continued for some moneths (though 
with several intermissions), in the latter end of the last 
year, when, also the man's barn was burned with the corn 
in it; but by what means it came to pass is not known. 
Not long after, some to whom the matter was referred, 
ordered Desborough to restore the clothes to the person 
who complained of wrong; since which he hath not been 
troubled as before. Some of the stones hurled were of 
considerable bigness; one of them weighed four pounds, 

8 



114 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

but generally tlie stones were not great, but very small 
ones. One time a piece of clay came down the chimney, 
falling on the table which stood at some distance from the 
chimney. The people of the house threw it on the hearth, 
where it lay a considerable time : they went to their 
supper, the piece of clay was lifted up by an invisible hand, 
and fell upon the table; taking it up they found it hot, 
having lain so long before the fire, as to cause it to be hot. 

Another providence, no less remarkable than this last 
mentioned, hapned at Portsmouth in New-England, about 
the same time: concerning which I have received the 
following account from a worthy hand. 

"On June 11, 1682, being the Lords Day, at night 
showers of stones were thrown both against the sides and 
roof of the house of George Walton : some of the people 
went abroad, found the gate at some distance from the 
house wrung off the hinges, and stones came thick about 
them, sometimes falling down by them, sometimes 
touching them without any hurt done to them; though 
they seemed to come with great force, yet did no more bul 
softly touch them; stones flying about the room, the doors 
being shut; the glass windows shattered to pieces bj 
stones that seemed to come not from without but within 
the lead of the glass casements, window-bars, &c. bein< 
driven forcibly outwards, and so standing bent. "Whil 
the secretary was walking in the room, a great hamme 
came brushing along against the chamber floor that wa 
over his head and fell down by him. A candlestick 
beaten off the table. They took up nine of the stones an 
marked them, and laid them on the table, some of thei 
being as hot as if they came out of the fire ; but some c 




THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 115 



those inark't stones were found flying about again. In 
this manner, about four hours space that night. The se- 
cretary then went to bed, but a stone came and broke up 
his chamber-door; being put to (not lockt), a brick was 
sent upon the like errand. The abovesaid stone the secre- 
tary lockt up in his chamber, but it was fetched out, and 
carried with great noise into the next chamber. The spit 
was carried up chimney, and came down with the point 
forward, and stuck in the back-log, and being removed 
by one of the company to one side of the chimney, was by 
an unseen hand thrown out at window. This trade was 
driven on the next day, and so from day to day ; now 
and then there would be some intermission, and then to it 
again. The stones were most frequent where the master 
of the house was, whether in the field or barn, &c. A 
black cat was seen once while the stones came, and was 
shot at, but she was too nimble for them. Some of the 
family say, that they once saw the appearance of an hand 
put forth at the hall window, throwing stones towards 
the entry, though there was no body in the hall the while : 
sometimes a dismal hollow whistling would be heard; 
sometimes the noise of the trotting of an horse, and 
snorting, but nothing seen. The man went up the great 
bay in his boat to a farm he had there, and while haling 
wood or timber to the boat, he was disturbed by the 
stones as before at home. He carried a stirrup-iron from 
the house down to the boat, and there left it ; but while 
he was going up to the house, the iron came jingling after 
him through the woods, and returned to the house, and so 
again, and at last went away, and was heard of no more. 
Their anchor leaped overboard several times as they were 
going home, and stopt the boat. A cheese hath been 

8a 



116 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

taken out of the press and crumbled all over the floor. A 
piece of iron with which they weighed up the cheese-press, 
stuck into the wall, and a kittle hung up thereon. Several 
cocks of English hay, mowed near the house, were taken 
and hung upon trees ; and some made into small whisps, 
and put all up and down the kitchen, cum multis aliis, 
&c. After this manner have they been treated ever since 
at times; it were endless to particularize. Of late, they 
thought the bitterness of death had been past, being quiet 
for sundry dayes and nights : but last week were some 
returnings again ; and this week (Aug. 2, 1682) as bad 
or worse than ever. The man is sorely hurt with some 
of the stones that came on him, and like to feel the effects 
of them for many dayes." Thus far is that relation. 

I am moreover informed, that the daemon was quiet a] 
the last winter, but in the spring he began to play som 
ludicrous tricks, carrying away some axes that were locke( 
up safe. This last summer he has not made such dis 
turbances as formerly ; but of this no more at present. 

There have been strange and true reports concerning 

a woman now living near the Salmon Falls in Barwic] 
(formerly called Kittery), unto whom evil spirits hav 
sometimes visibly appeared ; and she has sometimes beei 
sorely tormented by invisible hands : concerning all whic] 
an intelligent person has sent me the following narrative 

A brief Narrative of sundry Apparitions of Satan unto 
and Assaults at sundry times and places upon, th 
parson of Mary, the wife of Antonio Hortado, divellin 
near the Salmon Falls. Taken from her own mouth 
Aug. 13, 1683. 

" In June, 1682 (the day forgotten), at evening, th 



THINGS PRETERNATURAL. 117 

said Mary heard a voice at the door of her dwelling, 
saying, "What do you here?" About an hour after, 
.standing at the door of her house, she had a blow on her 
pye that settled her head near to the door-post ; and two 
or three dayes after, a stone, as she judged about half a 
pound or a pound weight, was thrown along the house 
within into the chimney, and going to take it up it was 
gone ; all the family was in the house, and no hand 
appearing which might be instrumental in throwing the 
stone. About two hours after, a frying-pan then hanging 
in the chimney was heard to ring so loud, that not only 
those in the house heard it, but others also that lived on 
the other side of the river near an hundred rods distant or 
more. Whereupon the said Mary and her husband going 
in a cannoo over the river, they saw like the head of a 
man new-shorn, and the tail of a white cat, about tw T o or 
three foot distance from each other, swimming over before 
the cannoo, but no body appeared to joyn head and tail 
together ; and they returning over the river in less than an 
hours time, the said apparition followed their cannoo back 
again, but disappeared at landing. A day or two after, 
the said Mary was stricken on her head (as she judged) 
with a stone, which caused a swelling and much soreness 
on her head, being then in the yard by her house ; and she 
presently entring into her house, was bitten on both arms 
black and blue, and one of her breasts scratched ; the 
impressions of the teeth being like mans teeth were plainly 
seen by many. Whereupon deserting their house to 
sojourn at a neighbours on the other side of the river, 
there appeared to said Mary in the house of her sojourning, 
a woman clothed with a green safeguard, a short blue 
cloak, and a white cap, making a profer to strike her with 



118 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

a fire-brand, but struck her not. The day following, the 
same shape appeared to her, but now arrayed with a grey 
gown, white apron, and white head-clothes, in appearance 
laughing several times, but no voice heard. Since when, 
said Mary has been freed from those Satanical molestations. 

" But the said Antonio being returned in March last 
with his family, to dwell again in his own house, and on 
his entrance there, hearing the noise of a man walking in 
his chamber, and seeing the boards buckle under his feet 
as he walked, though no man to be seen in the chamber 
(for they went on purpose to look), he returned with his 
family to dwell on the other side of the river ; yet planting 
his ground, though he forsook his house, he hath had five 
rods of good log-fence thrown down at once ; the feeting 
of neat cattle plainly to be seen almost between every row 
of corn in the field, yet no cattle seen there, nor any 
damage done to his corn, not so much as any of the leaves 
of the corn cropt." Thus far is that narrative. 

I am further informed, that some (who should have 
been wiser) advised the poor woman to stick the house 
round with bayes, as an effectual preservative against the 
power of evil spirits. This counsel was followed ; and as 
long as the bayes continued green, she had quiet ; but 
when they began to wither, they were all by an unseen 
hand carried away, and the woman again tormented. 

It is observable, that at the same time three houses in 
three several towns should be molested by daemons, as 
has now been related. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THAT THERE ARE DAEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 

Signs of such. Some mad men are really possessed, notwithstanding many 
fabulous stories about witchcrafts. That there are witches proved by 
three arguments. That houses are sometimes troubled by evil spirits. 
Witchcraft often the cause of it. Sometimes by the devil without 
witchcraft. Ordered by Providence as punishment for sin. The dis- 
turbance iu Waltons house further considered, with a parallel story 
That the things related in the preceding chapter were undoubtedly prse 
ternatural and diabolical. 



HE Sadduces of these dayes being like unto 
' * Avicenna, and Averroes, and other atheistical 
philosophers in former times, say that there 
are no spirits, and that all stories concerning 
them are either fabulous or to be ascribed unto natural 
causes. Amongst many others, the learned Voetius (in 
Disp. de opei'ationibus Dcemonum) has sufficiently refuted 
them. And as the experience of other ages and places 
of the world, so the things which Divine Providence hath 
permitted and ordered to come to pass amongst ourselves, 
if the Scriptures were silent, make it manifest beyond all 
contradiction, that there are devils infesting this lower 
world. Most true it is, that Satan and all his wicked 
angels are limited by the providence of God, so as that 
they cannot hurt any man or creature, much less any 



120 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

servant of his, without a commission from him, whose 
kingdom is over all. It is a memorable passage, which 
Chytraeus relateth concerning Luther, that when he was 
sought after by his popish and implacable enemies (being 
then hid by the Duke of Saxony), they consulted with 
magicians that so they might find where Luther ab- 
sconded, but the wizzards confessed they could not dis- 
cover him. Undoubtedly the devils knew where Luther 
hid himself ; only God would not suffer them to reveal 
it. Nevertheless the Lord doth, for wise and holy ends, 
sometimes lengthen the chain which the infernal lions 
are bound fast in. And as there are many tremendous 
instances confirming the truth hereof, so that of Satan's 
taking bodily possession of men is none of the least. 
Sometimes indeed it is very hard to discern between 
natural diseases and satanical possessions; so as that 
persons really possessed have been thought to be only 
molested with some natural disease, without any special 
finger of the evil spirit therein. Fernelius (de Abditis 
Rei'um Causis, lib. 2, cap. 16) speaketh of a certain 
young gentleman that was taken with strange convulsions, 
which did surprize him at least ten times in a day. In his 
fits he had the use of his speech 'and reason free ; other- 
wise his disease would have been judged no other than 
an ordinary epilepsy. Much means was used by skilful 
physitians for his relief, but without success for three 
moneths together ; when all on a sudden, a daemon began 
to speak out of the miserable patient ; and that with not 
only Latin but Greek sentences, which the afflicted party 
himself had no knowledge of ; and the daemon discovered 
many secrets both of the physitians and of other persons 
that attended, deriding them for their vain attempts to 



DAEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 1 2 1 



cure a man whom he had the possession of. There are 
sundry authors (in special Balduinus in his cases of con- 
science, and Darrel in his history of the Seven Possessed 
Persons in Lancashire) who have endeavoured to describe 
and characterise possessed persons. And such particulars 
as these following are by them mentioned as signs of 
possession. 

1. If the party concerned shall reveal secret things, 
either past or future, which without supernatural assis- 
tance could not be known, it argueth possession. 

2. If he does speak with strange languages, or discover 
skill in arts and sciences never learned by him. 

3. If he can bear burthens, and do things which are 
beyond humane strength. 

4. Uttering words without making use of the organs 
of speech, when persons shall be heard speaking, and yet 
neither their lips nor tongues have any motion, 'tis a sign 
that an evil spirit speaketh in them. 

5. When the body is become inflexible. 

6. When the belly is on a sudden puft up, and in- 
stantly flat again. 

These are thought to be certain arguments of an ener- 
gumenical person. Some other signs are mentioned by 
Thyraeus (De Obsessis, part 2, cap. 25, 26). 

There are who conceive (and that as they suppose upon 
scripture grounds) that men may possibly be dsemoniacal, 
when none of those mentioned particulars can be affirmed 
of them. The excellently learned and judicious Mr. Mede 
is of opinion, that the daemoniacks whom we read so 
frequently of in the New Testament, were the same with 
epilepticks, lunaticks, and mad men. The Turks at this 
day have their mad men in great veneration, supposing 



122 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

them to be acted by a spirit ; but they (in that being 
themselves mad) take it to be a good when as 'tis an evil 
spirit that does operate in such persons. And that the 
Jews of old did look upon maniacks to be possessed with 
an evil spirit, is evident from that expression of theirs, 
John x, 20 : " He hath a devil and is mad." Moreover, 
we read of one, Mat. xvii, 15, that was lunatick, and did 
oft fall into the fire, and oft into the water. Now that 
this lunatick person was a dsemoniack is clear from v. 18, 
where it is said that Jesus rebuked the devil, and he 
departed out of him. And of the same person 'tis said, 
in Luke ix, 39 : "A spirit taketh him and teareth him." 
So Beza and Heinsius, in Mat. viii, 16; and xvii, 15. It 
has been commonly said that in Christs time more persons 
were possessed with evil spirits than ever was known 
before or since ; but if that were so, the Jews, and pro- 
bably some historians, would have noted it as a thing 
strange and extraordinary ; whenas we read of no such 
observation to be made on those times. And saith 
Mr. Mede (in his Discourse on John x, 20) : " If those 
possessed persons were not such as we now adayes con- 
ceive to be no other than mad men, the world must be 
supposed to be well rid of devils, which for my part I 
believe it is not." There is in special, a sort of melan- 
choly madness, which is called lycanthropia or lupina 
insania, h. e., when men imagine themselves to be turned 
into wolves or other beasts. Hippocrates relates con- 
cerning the daughters of king Praetus, that they thought 
themselves kine. Wierus (de Prce*tiyiis Dcemonum, 1. iii. 
c. 21) speaketh of one in Padua, that would not believe to 
the contrary but that he was a wolf ; and of a Spaniard, 
who thought himself a bear. Euwichius (and from him 



pe 



DAEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 1 23 

Horstius) writeth of a man that was found in a barn 
under the hay, howling and saying he was a wolf. The 
foolish rusticks, who surprized him, began to nay him, 
that so they might see if he had not hair growing on the 
inside of his skin. Forestus has many instances to this 
purpose. Heurnius saith, that it is a disease frequent in 
Bohemia and Hungaria. JSTo doubt but this disease gave 
occasion to Pliny's assertion, that some men in his time 
were turned into wolves, and from wolves into men again. 
Hence was Ovid's fable of Lycaon, and the tale of 
Pausanias being ten years a wolf, and then a man again, 
He that would see more instances, may read Austin, de 
Civ. Dei. 1. xviii, c. 5 ; Burton of Melancholly, page 9. 
They that are subject unto this malady, for the most part 
lye hid all the day, and go abroad in the night, barking 
and howling at graves and in desarts. Vv r e may suppose 
that Nebuchadnezzar was troubled with this disease. And 
that such persons are molested with a daemon is evident 
from Luke viii, 27, with Mark v, 3, 4. The possessed 
rson there spoken of was Lycanthropos. 



There are that acknowledge the existence of spirits, and 
that the bodies of men are sometimes really possessed 
thereby, who, nevertheless, will not believe there are any 
such woful creatures in rerum naturd as witches, or per- 
sons confederate with the devil. I have read of a famous 
wizard, whose name was William de Lure, that after he 
had laboured much in opposing their opinion, who think 
that there are men on earth joyned in an explicit con- 
federacy with the fiends of hell, was himself convicted 
and condemned for that crime which he designed to make 
the world believe that no man was or could be guilty of. 



1 24 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

I shall not suspect all those as guilty of witchcraft, nor 
yet of heresie, who call the received opinion about witches 
into question. There are four or five English writers, viz. 
Mr. Scot, Ady, and of late, Wagstaff and Webster, and 
-another anonymous author, who do, with great vehemence, 
.affirm, that never any did maintain that familiarity with 
the evil spirits which is commonly believed. Wierus 
(otherwise a judicious author) conceiveth that all those 
things supposed to be done by witches are done by the 
.^vil spirits themselves, without any confederates. But he 
is sufficiently refuted by Bindsfieldius, Bodinus, Sennertus, 
and others. True it is, that many things have been looked 
upon as proceeding from witchcraft when it has not been 
so. The sympathies and antipathies of nature have some- 
times been esteemed the effects of witchcraft. A sympa- 
thetical powder, made without any magical ceremonies, 
lias done strange things, so as that the artist which used 
it has upon that account been suspected of witchcraft. A 
man may easily, by such natural magick as is described 
by Porta, and by Weckerus, De Secretis, make the ignorant 
believe he is a wizard. It is also true, that the world is 
full of fabulous stories concerning some kind of familiari- 
ties with the devil, and things done by his help, which 
-are beyond the powers of creatures to accomplish. What 
fables are there concerning incubi and succubce, and of men 
begotten by dsemons ! No doubt but the devil may de- 
. delude the fancy, that one of his vassals shall think (as the 
witch at Hartford did) that he has carnal and cursed com- 
munion with them beyond what is real. Nor is it impos- 
sible for him to assume a dead body, or to form a lifeless 
one out of the elements, and therewith to make his witches 
become guilty of sodomy. Austin saith, they are impudent 



DAEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 125 

who deny this. But to imagine that spirits shall really 
generate bodies is irrational. I am not ignorant that 
there have been men in the world (more than one or two) 
pretended to be thus begotten and born. Thus doth Nide- 
rius affirm concerning all the old inhabitants of the isle of 
Cyprus. The like has been reported concerning Arcturus, 
and concerning our British Merlin. Yea, the Gentiles 
believed that Homer, ^Eneas, Hercules, and others, were 
begotten by daemons, whom, thereupon, they esteemed as 
semidei. And Olympias, the mother of Alexander the 
Great, supposed herself to be with child by Jupiter 
Hammon. When her husband, King Philip of Macedon, 
was absent from her, Nectanebus (an Egyptian prince, 
and a great magician) sent her word that Jupiter would 
embrace her, and that he would come to her such a night 
in the form of a dragon ; at the time appointed, Necta- 
nebus himself, by his magical impostures, made Olympias 
believe that a dragon was in the room, and so did himself 
do that which the deluded queen thought Jupiter had done. 
I doubt not but that Merlin and others, imagined to come 
into the world not in the usual way, were the sons of 
daemons, just as Alexander was. It has been a received 
maxim, that though the devil may by his art produce 
insects and vermin (to the generation whereof a seminal 
vertue is not alwayes necessary), yet he cannot bring forth 
a perfect animal. How then is it consistent with reason, 
that he should produce a real man, who is of all animals 
the most perfect and noble 1 It is also extreamly fabulous 
that witches can transform themselves or others into 
another sort of creatures, e. g. into horses, wolves, cats, 
miee, &c. Car-minibus Circe socios mutavit Vlyssis. A 
blind heathenish phansie : and yet stories of this nature 



126 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

have been generally believed; and I have not without 
wonderment seen grave authors relating them, as if the 
things had been really so. But it is beyond the power of 
all the devils in hell to cause such a transformation : they 
can no more do it than they can be the authors of a true 
miracle. (See Horstius, Inst. Med. disp. 3, exercit. 9, 
quest 9.) Though I deny not but that the devil may so 
impose upon the imagination of witches, as to make them 
believe that they are transmuted into beasts. Sennertus 
(in Pract. Med. 1. vi, part 9, cap. 5) reports that a noble 
person, and one worthy of credit, gave him an account of 
a strange passage to this purpose, which himself was par- 
ticularly acquainted with. The story is this : 

A certain woman being in prison on suspicion for 
witchcraft, pretending to be able to turn herself into a 
wolf, the magistrate before whom she was brought, pro- 
mised her, 'that she should not be put to death, in case 
she would then in his presence so transform herself ; which 
she readily consented unto. Accordingly she anointed 
her head, neck, and arm-pits ; immediately upon which 
she fell into a most profound sleep for three hours ; after 
which she suddenly rose up, declaring that she had been 
turned into a wolf, and been at a place some miles distant, 
and there killed first a sheep and then a cow. The 
magistrate presently sent to the place, and found that 
first a sheep, and then a cow, had there been killed. 

Wierus and Baptista Porta have divers stories to the 
same purpose. It is then evident, that the devil himself 
did that mischief ; and in the meantime the witches, who 
were cast into so profound a sleep by him as they could 
not by any noises or blows be awakened, had their phansies 



DAEMONS A ND POSSESSED PERSONS. 1 27 

imposed upon by dreams and delusions according to the 
pleasure of their master Satan. It must, moreover, be 
sadly confessed, that many innocent persons have been 
put to death under the notion of witchcraft, whereby 
much innocent blood hath been shed ; especiallly it hath 
been so in Popish times and places. Superstitious and 
magical wayes of trying witches have been a bloody 
cause of those murders. Sometimes persons have been 
tried for witchcraft by hot, sometimes by cold water (of 
which more in the eighth chapter of this Essay), some- 
times by pricking them, sometimes by sticking awls under 
their seats, sometimes by their ability, or otherwise, to 
repeat the Lords Prayer. 

An Irish witch, which was tried at Youghall, Sept. 11, 
1661, being by the court put upon repeating the fifth 
petition, alwayes left out the words, "Forgive us our 
trespasses." Another witch, tried at Taunton, 1663, 
could not repeat the last petition ; but though she was 
directed to say it after one that repeated it distinctly, 
would say, " Lead us into temptation, 53 and could never 
repeat it right, though she tried to do it half a score 
times. But Judge Archer did wisely admonish the jury, 
that they were not in the least measure to guide their 
verdict by that, since it was no legal evidence. 

The author of the advertisement to Mr. Glanvil's 
Relations (p. 171) saith, that his curiosity led him to 
examine certain witnesses at the castle in Cambridge 
and that the most notorious witch of Miem all pleaded 
that she was no witch because she was able to say the 
Lords Prayer and the Creed ; and though she was out in 
repeating the Creed, she said the Lords Prayer right. 



128 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

But from such considerations as those which have been 
mentioned, "Wierus and some others, not atheists, but 
persons of worth, have, e a/^erptas avdo\Krjs, run into an 
extream on the other hand, so as to question whether 
there were any persons really confederate with the infernal 
spirits. Nevertheless, that there have been such the fol- 
fowing arguments do manifest. 

1. The argument by many insisted on from the Scrip- 
tures is irrefragable : therein witchcrafts are forbidden. 
And we often read in the Scripture of metaphorical 
bewitchings, Nahum iii, 4 ; Gal. iii, 1 ; which similitudes 
are undoubtedly taken from things that have a real exis- 
tence in reruiu naturd. Yea, the Scripture makes par- 
ticular mention of many that used those cursed arts and 
familiarities with the devil, e. g. Jannes, and Jarnbres, 
Balaam, Manasseh, Simon, Elymas. Nor is the relation 
which the Scripture giveth of the Witch of Endor, and 
the reasons from thence deduced to prove the being of 
witches, sufficiently confuted by any of our late witch- 
advocates. Though (as one speaketh) some men, to elude 
the argument from that instance, " play more hocos-pocus 
tricks in the explication of that passage than the witch 
herself did in raising deceased Samuel." It is a poor 
evasion in those who think to escape the dint of this 
argument, by pretending that the witches and familiar 
spirits spoken of in the Scripture were only jugiers, or 
men that by legerdemain would do strange feats of acti- 
vity. The divine law requires that such witches should 
be cut off by the sword of justice ; which may not be 
affirmed of everyone that shall, without any confederacy 
with the devil, play tricks of legerdemain. 

2. Experience has too often made it manifest that there 



DEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 1 29 

are such in the world as hold a correspondence with hell. 
There have bin known wizards; yea, such as have taught 
others what ceremonies they are to use in maintaining 
communion with devils. Trithemius his book de Septem 
Intelligentiis, and Cornelius Agrippa's books of occult 
philosophy, wherein too much of these nefandous abomi- 
nations is described, are frequently in the hands of men. 
Several other books there are extant which do professedly 
| teach the way of familiarity with daemons ; the titles 
whereof, as also the names of the authors that have pub- 
lished them, I designedly forbear to mention, lest haply 
any one into whose hands this discourse may come, should 
out of wicked curiosity seek after them to the mine of his 
soul. There are famous histories of several who had their 
paredri or familiar spirits, some in one likeness, some in 
another, constantly attending them : thus had Apolloniua 
Thyanaeus of old ; and of later times, Mich. Scot and 
Josephus Niger. Likewise Cardanus (de Subtilitulr, lib. 
xix, p. 963) writeth, that his own father had such a fami- 
liar for thirty years together. So had Christopher Waga- 
neer a familiar in the form of an ape for seven years 
attending him ; so had Tolpardus, which two were at last 
carried away body and soul by the devil, unto whose 
service they had devoted their lives. There is also a true 
(as well as a romantick) story of Faustus. The excellent 
Camerarius, in his Horce Subsecivce, cent. i. cap. 70, relateth 
strange things of him, which he received from those who- 
knew Faustus, and were eye-witnesses of his magical and 
diabolical impostures. He also had a familiar devil, in. 
form of a monk, accompanying of him for the space of. 
twenty-four years. Hausdorfius and Lonicer ad 2 prcec 
p. 167, speak of Faustus. Melancthon declares that he; 

9 



130 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

knew the man ; so that Naudeus is to be convinced of 
vanity, in denying that ever there was such a person in the 
world. In a word, it is a thing known, that there have 
been men who would discourse in languages and reason 
notably about sciences which they never learned; who 
have revealed secrets, discovered hidden treasures, told 
whither stolen goods have been conveyed, and by whom ; * 
and that have caused bruit creatures, nay statues or! 
images, to speak and give rational answers. The Jews \ 
teraphims oftentimes did so. Vide R. Sol. Jarchi in Has. 
iii, 4; Selden de Diis Syriis. part i, cap. 2; Thorn, contra 
Gentes, lib. iii, cap. 104. Such things as these cannot be 
done by the help of meer natural causes. It must needs 
be, then, that the practisers of them are in confederacy 
with Satan. 

3. There have been many in the world who have, upon 
conviction, confessed themselves guilty of familiarity with 
the devil. A multitude of instances this way are men- 
tioned by Bodinus, Codronchus, Delrio, Jacquerius, Eemi- 
gius, and others. Some in this countrey have affirmed 
that they knew a man in another part of the world, above 
fifty years ago, who having an ambitious desire to be 
thought a wise man, whilest he was tormented with the 
itch of his wicked ambition, the devil came to him with 
promises that he should quickly be in great reputation for 
his wisdom, in case he would make a covenant with him; 
the conditions whereof were, that when men came to him 
for his counsel, he should labour to perswade them that 
there is no God, nor devil, nor heaven, nor hell ; and that 
such a term of years being expired, the devil should have 
his soul. The articles were consented to : the man con- 
tinuing after this to be of a very civil conversation, doing 



DAEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 1 31 

hurt to none, but good to many ; and by degrees began 
to have a name to be a person of extraordinary sagacity, 
and was sought unto far and near for counsel, his words 
being esteemed oracles by the vulgar. And he did accord- 
ing to his covenant upon all occasions secretly disseminate 
principles of atheism, not being suspected for a wizard. 
But a few weeks before the time indented with the devil 
was fulfilled, inexpressible horror of conscience surprized 
him, so that he revealed the secret transactions which had 
passed betwixt himself and the devil. He would some- 
times, with hideous "roarings, tell those that came to visit 
him that now he knew there was a God, and a devil, and 
an heaven, and an hell. So did he die a miserable spec- 
tacle of the righteous and fearful judgement of God. And 
every age does produce new examples of those that have 
by their own confession made the like cursed covenants 
with the prince of darkness. 

In the year 1664, several who were indicted at the 
assizes held at Taunton in Somersetshire, confessed that 
they had made an explicit league with the devil ; and that 
he did baptise pictures of wax with oyl, giving them the 
names of those persons they did intend mischief unto. 

Anno 1678, one John Stuart, and his sister, Annibal 
Stuart, at the assizes held at Paysley in Scotland, con- 
fessed that they had been in confederacy with the devil ; 
and that they had made an image of wax, calling it by 
the name of Sir George Maxwel, sticking pins in the sides 
and on the breast of it. Such an image, with pins in it, 
was really found in the witches houses; and upon the 
removal of it, the pins being taken out, Sir George had 
immediate ease, and recovered his health. 



132 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

There is lately published (by Dr. Horneck) the History 
of the Witches in Sweden ; by whose means that kingdom 
was fearfully plagued. Upon examination, they confessed 
their crime, and were executed in the year 1 670. 

And no longer since than the last year, viz. on Aug 
25, 1682, three women, who were executed at Exon in 
Devonshire, all of them confessed that they had had con 
verses and familiarities with the devil. 

But the instance of the witch executed in Hartford, 
here in 2few England (of which the preceding chapter 
giveth an account), considering the circumstances of that 
confession, is as convictive a proof as most single exam- 
ples that I have met with. It is a vain thing for the 
patrons of witches to think that they can sham off thi 
argument, by suggesting that these confessions did proceed 
from the deluded imagination* of mad and melancholly 
persons. Some of them were as free from distemperature 
in their brains as their neighbours. That divers executed 
for witches have acknowledged things against themselves 
which were never so, I neither doubt or deny ; and that 
a deluded phansie may cause persons verily to think they 
have seen and done these things which never had any 
existence except in their own imaginations, is indisputable. 
I fully concur with a passage which I find in worthy 
Dr. Owen's late excellent discourse about the work of the 
Spirit in prayer (p. 202), where he has these words : 
" We find by experience that some have had their imagi- 
nations so fixed on things evil and noxious by satanical 
delusions, that they have confessed against themselves 
things and crimes that have rendred them obnoxious to 
capital punishment, whereof they were never really and 
actually guilty." This, notwithstanding that persons, 







DEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 1 33 

whose judgement and reason have been free from disturb- 
ance by any disease, should not only voluntarily acknow- 
ledge their being in cursed familiarities with Satan, but 
mention the particular circumstances of those transactions, 
and give ocular demonstration of the truth of what they 
say, by discovering the stigmata made upon their bodies 
by the devils hand ; and that, when more than one or two 
have been examined apart, they should agree in the cir- 
cumstances of their relations; and yet that all this should 
be the meer effect of melancholly or phrensie, cannot, 
without offering violence to reason and common sense, be 
imagined. And as there are Avitches, so, many times, they 
are the causes of those strange disturbances which are in 
houses haunted by evil spirits, such as those, mentioned in 
the former chapter. Instances concerning this may be 
seen in Mr. Glanvil's Collections, together with the con- 
tinuation thereof, published the last year by the learned 
Dr. Henry More. Sometimes Providence permits the 
devil himself (without the use of instruments) to molest 
the houses of some, as a punishment for sin committed, 
most commonly either for the sin of murder : Plutarch 
writes, that the house of Pausanias was haunted by an evil 
spirit after he had murdered his wife ; many like instances 

,ve been reported and recorded by credible authors; 

else for the sin of theft. As for Walton, the Quaker 
of Portsmouth, whose house has been so strangely troubled, 
he suspects that one of his neighbours has caused it by 
witchcraft ; she (being a widow-woman) chargeth him with 
injustice in detaining some land from her. It is none of 
my work to reflect upon the man, nor will I do it ; only, 
if there be any late or old guilt upon his conscience, it 
concerns him by confession and repentance to give glory to 



134 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

that God who is able in strange waves to discover the 
sins of men. 

I shall here take occasion to commemorate an alike 
notable scene of Providence, which was taken notice of 
in another part of the world, at Brightling in Sussex, in 
England. The minister in that town (viz. Mr. Joseph 
Beiinet) has given a faithful account of that strange 
Providence, which is published by Mr. Clark in his 
Examples, vol. ii, p. 593, &c. I shall relate it in his 
words : thus he writeth concerning it : 

"Anno Christi, 1659. There was at Brightling an 
amazing Providence, containing many strange passages; 
a wonderful hand of God, by what instrument or instru- 
ments soever : which was, a fire strangely kindled, which 
burnt down a mans house, and afterwards kindled in 
another to which the mans goods were carried, and to 
which himself, and his wife, and his servant girl, were 
removed ; and several things were thrown by an invisible 
hand, powerfully convincing, and thereby discovering the 
hypocrisie and theft of the man, and for a warning to 
others to take heed of the like. 

" November 7, in the evening, the fire first kindled in 
this man's milk-house ; and November 9, there was dust 
thrown upon this man and his wife, as they lay in bed 
together, and there was knocking several times ; and the 
same morning divers things were thrown about, and the 
fire again kindled in the milk-house, which was yet put out 
by the woman herself ; then it kindled in the eves of the 
house, in the thatch, which was put out by a man which 
was their next neighbour. That night, as the man had a 
pot of beer in his hand, a stone feel into the pot ; then 
did he set down the pot upon the table. When some men 



DEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 1 35 

came to be with them that night, they were speaking how 
convenient it would be to have a tub filled with water, to 
stand ready, in case they should have occasion to use it ; 
and as they were going out of the door to prepare it, the 
fire again kindled in the milk-house, and suddenly the 
whole house was on fire, but most of the goods and hous- 
hold-stuff were carried out and preserved. The fire was 
a strange fire, very white, and not singing their hands 
when they pulled the things out of it. 

" The next day the houshold-stuff was carried to ano- 
ther house, wherein was a family: but those were to be 
in one end of the house, and the other in the other end. 
But before the man and his wife went to bed there was 
dust thrown upon them, which so troubled them that the 
man, having another man with them, and a candle and 
lanthorn in his hand, came up to me (saith my author), 
who was in bed and asleep ; but when I was awakened, I 
heard him say, 'The hand of God still pursues me;' and 
so he in treated me to go down with him; and accordingly 
I and my brother went down, where we found them in 
the house, greatly troubled by reason of things that were 
thrown about, and some things were thrown presently 
after we came in. Hereupon we went to prayer; and as 
I was kneeling down, dust was thrown upon me ; but 
afterwards all was quiet, so long as we were at prayer. 
When we arose from prayer, I applied myself to the 
reading of a portion of Scripture, which was Psal. xci, 
the man standing by me, and holding the candle; but pre- 
sently something did beat out the light ; whereupon the 
man said that somebody else must hold it. Presently a 
knife was thrown at me, which fell behind me; my brother 
said he saw it come ; then a chopping-knife was thrown 



136 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

(I think at the man's wife); whereupon the man said, 
'Things are thrown at others for my sake.' At length he 
fell upon his knees, and confessed that he had been a 
hipocrite and a pilfering fellow, and that he had robbed his 
master, &c. ; and he was willing to separate the things 
which he had taken wrongfully from the rest, which he 
did accordingly : laying forth several things which he said 
were none of his, naming the persons from whom he had 
taken them; and as a great chest was carrying forth, 
trenchers, platters, and other things, were thrown about in 
so dreadful a manner, that one not much rioted for reli- 
gion said, 'Pray you, let us go to prayer;' and indeed that 
was our only refuge, so to go to God. And so we spent 
our time as well as we could, in prayer, reading some 
portions of Scripture, and singing of psalms : and though 
divers things were thrown, as a dish several times ; so 
that once I had a smart blow on the cheek with a dish ; 
and the man that lived in the house had his boots thrown 
at him, and a chopping-knife twice, crabs out of a tub 
standing in the midst of the room, a fire brand, though 
without fire, and an hammer thrown twice, and a Bible ; 
the man's wife who lived in the house usually took up the 
things thus thrown ; yet still in time of prayer all was 
quiet. In the morning, after I had prayed (before which 
prayer I was hit with a dish), my brother and I came 
away; and as we were coming near home, we turned aside 
to speak with a friend ; but before we got home, we heard 
that the house was on fire : hereupon they sent for me 
again ; and in the mean time they carried out their goods, 
pulled off the thatch, and quenched the fire ; yet (as I 
heard) it kindled again and again, till all the man's goods 
were carried out : and when these people whose house was 



DAEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 137 

burnt down to the ground, together with all their goods 
were removed into the field, all was quiet in this second 
house ; but some tilings were thrown in the field ; and in 
the afternoon, when another minister and I went to them, 
some assured us that some things had been thrown. This 
was November 1 1 . The night following, some noise was 
heard among the houshold-stuff, as was testified to me. 

" Thus these poor creatures were distressed. Their 
house was burned down; that to which they were re- 
moved several times fired, so that neither they nor their 
goods might stay any longer there, nor durst any other 
receive them : but they, with their goods, were forced to 
lie in the open field for divers dayes and nights together ; 
being made a sad spectacle to all sorts of people, that came 
far and near to see and hear of the business. Hereupon I 
sent to some neighbouring ministers, to joyii with us in 
keeping a fast on November 15 ; and four spent the time 
...in prayer and preaching. The sermons were upon these 
^ texts : Job xi, 13, 'If thou prepare thine heart, and 
stretch out thine hands towards him ; if iniquity be in 
thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell 
in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face 
without spot ; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not be 
afraid,' &c. Amos iii, 6, ' Shall a trumpet be blown in 
the city, and the people not be afraid 1 shall there lv evil 
in a city, and the Lord hath not done it ? ' Luke xiii, '2, 3, 
&c., ' Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above 
all the Galileans, because they suffered such thing - 
tell you nay : But except ye repent, ye shall all likewise 
perish: or those eighteen,' &c. Isai. xxxiii, 14, 15, 16, 
' The sinners in Sion are afraid, tearfulness hath surprized 
the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with devour- 



138 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

ing fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting 
burnings? He that walketh righteously and speaketh 
uprightly : he that despiseth the gain of oppression, that 
shaketh his hand from holding bribes, that stoppeth his 
ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from 
seeing of evil : He shall dwell on high. His place of 
desire shall be the munitions of rocks : Bread shall be 
given him, his water shall be sure.' 

" The distressed persons attended diligently, and a great 
congregation was assembled. These providential dispen- 
sations were not ordinary ; yet there was a seeming blur 
cast, though not on the whole, yet upon some part of it ; 
for their servant girl was at last found throwing some 
things : and she afterwards confessed that an old woman 
came to her, November 7, a little before these things come 
to pass, and told her that her master and dame were 
bewitched, and that they should hear a great fluttering 
about their house for the space of two dayes ; she said also 
that the old woman told her that she must hurl things at 
her master and dame, and withal bad her not to tell, for 
if she did the devil would have her : and she confessed that 
she hurled the firebrand, an hammer, and an iron tack ; 
and said that she did it because the old woman bad her, 
and said to her, that if she hurled things about the house 
it would be the better. But besides the throwing of the 
things about, there were other passages of Providence 
very observable and remarkable. One house was at 
several times strangely fired, and, notwithstanding the 
warning they had, at last quite burned down : and another 
house to whom they removed, greatly molested, and at 
length fired. Besides the efficacy of prayer is most 
observable, for the encouragement of the duty, and God's 



DAEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. 139 

omniscient and omnipotent providence wonderfully mag- 
nified, thus to discover the hypocrisie and theft of the 
man, and yet withal graciously and mercifully delivering 
them. For though they were not wholly delivered when 
the fast was first appointed, yet after the fast they were 
fully freed, and not at all any more troubled in that 
manner." Thus far is Mr. Bennets relation. 

That the things which have been related in the chapter 
immediately preceding came not to pass without the 
operation of daemons, is so manifest as that I shall not 
spend many words concerning it : though whether the 
afflicted persons were only possessed, or bewitched, or 
both, may be disputed. As for the maid at Groton, she 
was then thought to be under bodily possession : her 
uttering many things (some of which were diabolical 
railings) without using the organs of speech, and being 
able sometimes to act above humane strength, argued 
an extraordinary and satanical operation. Concerning 
the woman in Berwick : evil spirits, without being set 
on work by instruments, have sometimes caused the like 
molestation ; but commonly such things are occasioned by 
witchcraft. Dr. Balthasar Han (who was chief physitian 
to the Prince Elector of Saxony) relates concerning one 
of his patients, that in November 1634, she was, to the 
amazement of all spectators, pricked and miserably beaten 
by an invisible hand, so as that her body from head to foot 
was wounded as if she had been whipped with thorns. 
Sometimes a perfect sign of the cross was imprinted on 
her skin ; sometimes the usual configurations whereby 
astronomers denote the cselestial bodies, such as h i\- 
and their conjunctions, and oppositions by 6 ; and the 



1 40 REMARK A BLE PRO VIDENCES. 

characters used by chymists, A &c. (in which sciences, 
though that be not usual for those of her sex, she was 
versed.) These characters would remain for several weeks 
after the invisible hand had violently impressed them on 
her body ; also a needle was thrust into her foot, which 
caused it to bleed. Once she took the needle and put it 
into the fire ; and then an old woman, to whom she had 
given some of her wearing linnen, appeared to her with 
a staff in her hand, striking her with a cruel blow, and 
saying, " Give me my needle." At last the miserable 
patient, by constant attendance to prayer and other reli- 
gious exercises, was delivered from her affliction. Many 
instances of an alike nature to this, are to be seen in the 
writings of those that treat upon subjects of this kind. 
Sometimes (as Voetius and others observe) bodily pos- 
sessions by evil spirits are an effect of witchcraft. Ex- 
amples confirming this are mentioned by Hierom, in the 
Life of Hilarion; Theodoret, in his History of the Fathers; 
and by Anastasius. And there are more instances in 
Sprenger, and in Tyrseus de Dcemoniacis. It may be 
Ann Cole of Hartford might be subject to both of these 
miseries at the same time. Though she be (and then was) 
esteemed a truly pious Christian, such amazing afflictions 
may befall the righteous as well as the wicked in this 
world. The holy body of Job, that so his patience might 
be tried, was sorely handled by Satan. We read in the 
gospel of a daughter of Abraham whom Satan had bound 
for eighteen years, Luke xiii, 16. Mary Magdalen and 
several others, who had been molested and possessed by 
evil spirits, yet belonged to God, and are now in heaven. 
So might Ann Cole be a true Christian, and yet be for 
a time under Satan's power as hath been related. And 



DEMONS AND POSSESSED PERSONS. HI 

that her malady was not meer natural disease, is past all 
doubt, inasmuch as in those strange paroxysmes where- 
with she was at times surprized, the tone of her discourse 
would sometimes be after a language unknown to her. 
Lenmius indeed supposeth that melancholly humors may 
cause persons not only to divine, but to speak with strange 
tongues; and Forestus (lib. x, observat. 19) does not 
contradict his opinion. But the unreasonableness of that 
phansie has been sufficiently evinced by sundry learned 
men. Vide Johnston Thaumatograph, sect, x, chap. 7, 
art. 1 ; La Torr, Disp. 27. How shall that be in the 
mouth which never was in the mind; and how should 
that be in the mind which never came there through the 
outward senses? This cannot be without some super- 
natural influence ; as when things destitute of reason 
have given rational answers unto what hath been demanded 
of them, it must needs have proceeded from the operation 
of a supernatural agent. It is reported that one of the 
Popes, in waj r of pleasancy, saying to a parrat, "What 
art thou thinking off the parrat immediately replied, "I 
have considered the dayes of old, the years of ancient 
times; 1 ' at the which consternation fell upon the Pope and 
others that heard the words, concluding that the devil 
spake in the parrat, abusing Scripture expressions ; where- 
upon they caused it to be killed. De La Cerda speaketh 
of a crow that did discourse rationally; undoubtedly 
it was acted by a caco-daemon. Some write of Achilles 
his horse, and that Simon Magus had a clog that would 
discourse with him; yea, it is storied concerning the 
river Causus, and the keel of ship Argus, and of many 
statues, that they have been heard speaking. The image 
of Memnon in ^gypt, as the rising sun shined upon its 



142 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

mouth, began to speak. The image of Juno Moneta, 
being asked if she would be removed to Rome : replied 
that she would. The image of Fortune being set up, said, 
"Rite me consacrastis." (Valer. Maxim, lib. i, cap. ult.) 
A gymnosophist in Ethiopia caused an elm, with a low 
and soft voice to salute Apollonius. Such things must 
needs be the operation of caco-dsemons. The like is to be 
concluded when any shall utter themselves in languages 
which they never learned. It is not they but a spirit 
which speaketh in them. The noble man whom Fernelius 
writeth of, was first known to be possessed by a daemon, 
inasmuch as many sentences uttered by him were Greek, 
in which language the diseased person had no knowledge. 
A maid in Frank ford was concluded to be possessed, is 
that when in her fits, she could speak the High Dutch 
language perfectly, though she never learned it. Manlius 
writeth of a possessed woman, who used to speak Latin 
and Greek, to the admiration of all that heard it. 

I remember an honourable gentleman told me, that 
when he was at Somers in France a woman there was 
possessed with a devil. Many learned divines, both 
Protestants and Papists, discoursing with her, she would 
readily answer them, not only in the French tongue, but 
in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew. But when one Mr. Duncan 
after he had discoursed and received answer in more 
learned languages, spake to her in the British tongue, 
the daemon made no reply ; which occasioned great won- 
derment, and too much sporting about a sad and serious 
matter. 



CHAPTER VII. 

CONCERNING APPARITIONS. 

They are not so frequent in places where the Gospel prevaileth as in the 
dark corners of the earth. That good ai gels do sometimes visibly 
appear. Confirmed by several histories. That caco-dsemons oftentimes 
pretend to be good angels. That Satan may appear in the likeness of 
holy men, proved by notable instances. Concerning the appearance of 
persons deceased. The procuring cause thereof is usually some sin 
committed. Some late remarkable examples. Of mens covenanting 
to appear after their death. It is an heavy judgement when places are 
infested with such doleful spectres. 

S yet no place nor any person in New England 
(excepting the instances before mentioned) 
have been troubled with aparitions. Some 
indeed have given out, that I know not 
what spectres were seen by them ; but upon enquiry I 
cannot find that there was any thing therein more than 
phansie and frightful apprehensions, without sufficient 
ground. Nevertheless, that spirits have sometimes really 
(as well as imaginarily) appeared to mortals in the world, 
is amongst sober men beyond controversie ; and that 
such things were of old taken notice of, we may rationally 
conclude from that scripture, Luke xxiv, 37, where it is 
said, that the disciples " were terrified and affrighted, and 
supposed that they had seen a spirit." It is observable 




144 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

that such frightful spectres do most frequently shew 
themselves in places where the light of the Gospel hath 
not prevailed. Some hath propounded it as a question 
worthy the inquiring into : What should be the reason 
that daemons did ordinarily infest the Gentiles of old, as 
also the East and West Indians of later times, and that 
popish countries 'are still commonly and grievously mo- 
lested by them ; but in England and Scotland, and in the 
United Provinces, and in all lands where the Reformed 
religion hath taken place, such things are more rare? 
Popish authors do acknowledge that as to matter of fact 
it is really thus ; and the reason which some of them 
assign for it is, that the devils are so sure of their interest 
in heretical nations, as that they pass over, them, and 
come and molest Papists, whom they are most afraid of 
losing. But they should rather have attributed it to the 
light of the Gospel, and the power of Christ going along 
therewith. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and others, observe 
that upon the first promulgation of the Gospel, those 
diabolical oracles, whereby Satan had miserably deceived 
the nations, were silenced ; in which respect the word of 
Christ, Luke x, 17, was wonderfully fulfilled. The like 
may be said as to Protestant being less imposed upon 
then Popish nations by deceitful daemons. It is more- 
over, sometimes very difficult to pass a true judgement of 
the spectres which do appear, whether they are good or 
evil angels, or the spirits of deceased men. That holy 
angels were frequently seen in old times, we are from 
the Scriptures of truth assured ; and that the angelical 
ministration doth still continue, is past doubt, Heb. i, 14 ; 
but their visible appearance is less frequent than formerly. 
They do invisibly perform many a good office for the heirs 



APPARITIONS. 145 

of salvation continually. Ijfy is it to be questioned, but 
they may still appear visibly, when the work which they 
are sent about cannot otherwise be performed. I would 
not reject as fabulous all those passages which are related 
by judicious authors referring to this subject. 

At a time when Grynaeus, Melancthon, and several 
other learned men, were discoursing together at an house 
in Spy res, there came a man of very grave and goodly 
countenance into the house, desiring to speak with 
Melancthon ; who going forth to him, he told him that 
within one hour some officers would be at that house to- 
apprehend Grynaeus, and therefore required Melancthon 
to advise Grynseus to flee out of that city ; and having 
so spoken, he vanished out of sight. Melancthon re- 
turning into the room, recounted the words of this strange- 
monitor ; whereupon Grynseus instantly departed ; and 
he had no sooner boated himself upon the Rhine, but 
officers came to lay hold of him. This story is mentioned 
by Melancthon in his commentary upon Daniel. And 
he concludeth that the man who had appeared to him was 
indeed an angel, sent in order to Grynseus his being 
delivered from the bloody hands of them that sought his 
life. Many instances like to this I could mention. But 
I shall only take notice of a strange providence which 
came to pass of late years ; the particulars whereof are 
known to some who I suppose may be still living. 

I find the history of the matter I intend in Mr. Clark's 
Examples, vol. ii, page 18, 19. It is in brief as 
followeth : 

One Samuel Wallas of Stamford in Lincolnshire, having* 
been in a consumption for thirteen years, was worn away 
to a very skeleton, and lay bed-rid for four years. But 

10 



146 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

April 7, 1659, being the Lords Day, about 6 h. P.M. 
finding himself somewhat revived, he got out of the bed ; 
and as he was reading a book entituled, Abraham's Suit 
for Sodom, he heard somebody knock at the door ; where- 
upon (there being none then in the house but himself) he 
took a staff in the one hand, and leaning to the wall with 
the other, came to the door, and opening it, a comely and 
grave old man of a fresh complexion, with white curled 
hair, entred ; and after walking several times about the 
Toom, said to him, "Friend, I perceive you are not well; " 
to whom Wallas replied he had been ill many years, 
and that the doctors said his disease was a consumption 
and past cure, and that he was a poor man, and not able 
to follow their costly prescriptions ; only he committed 
himself and life into the hands of God, to dispose of as he 
pleased. To whom the man replied, " Thou sayest very 
well ; be sure to fear God, and serve him, and remember 
to observe what now I say to thee : to-rnorrow morning go 
into the garden, and there take two leaves of red sage, and 
one of blood-wort, and put those three leaves into a cup of 
small beer, and drink thereof as oft as need requires ; the 
fourth morning cast away those leaves, and put in fresh 
ones ; thus do for twelve dayes together ; and thou shalt 
find e're these twelve dayes be expired, through the help 
of God, thy disease will be cured, and the frame of 
thy body altered." Also he told him that after his 
strength was somewhat recovered, he should change the 
air, and go three or four miles off; and that within a 
moneth he should find that the clothes which he had on 
his back would then be too strait for him : having spoken 
these things, he again charged Samual Wallas to remember 
the directions given to him, but above all things to fear 



APPARITIONS. 147 

God and serve him. Wallas asked him if he would eat 
any thing; unto whom he answered, "No, friend, the Lord 
Christ is sufficient for me. Seldom do I drink any thing 
but what cometh from the rock." So wishing the Lord of 
heaven to be with him, he departed. Samuel Wallas saw 
him go out of the door, and went to shut the door after 
him, at which he returned half way into the entry again, 
saying, " Friend, remember what I have said to you, and 
do it ; but above all, fear God, and serve him." Wallas 
beheld the man passing in the street, but none else 
observed him, though some were then standing in the 
doors opposite to Wallas his house; and although it 
rained when this grave person came into the house, and 
had done so all that day, yet he had not one spot of wet or 
dirt upon him. Wallas followed the directions prescribed, 
and was restored to his health within the dayes mentioned. 
The fame of this strange Providence being noised abroad, 
sundry ministers met at Stamford, to consider and consult 
about it, who concluded that this cure was wrought by a 
good angel, sent from heaven upon that errand. How- 
ever, it is not impossible but that holy angels may appear, 
and visibly converse with some. Yet for any to desire 
such a thing is unwarrantable, and exceeding dangerous ; 
for thereby some have been imposed upon by wicked 
daemons, who know how to transform themselves into 
angels of light. 

Bodinus hath a strange relation of a man that prayed 
much for the assistance of an angel ; and after that, for 
above thirty years together, he thought his prayer was 
heard : being often admonished of his errors by a caelestial 
monitor, as he apprehended, who once appeared visibly in 

IQa 



1 48 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

the form of a child, otherwhile in an orb of light ; would 
sometimes speak to him when he saw nothing. Yet some 
fear that his spirit which he took to be his good genius 
was a subtle caco-daemon. Plato writeth concerning 
Socrates, that he had a good genius attending him, which 
would still admonish him if he were about to do any thing 
that would prove ill or unhappy. 

The story of the familiarity which was between Dr. Dee 
and Kelly, with the spirits which used to appear to them, 
is famously known. Those daemons would pretend to 
discover rare mysteries to them, and at times would give 
good advices in many things, so that they verily thought 
they had extraordinary communion with holy angels, 
whenas it is certain they were deceived by subtile and 
unclean devils, since the spirits they conversed with did 
at last advise them to break the seventh commandment 
of the moral law. Satan, to insinuate himself and carry 
on a wicked design, will sometimes seem to perswade men 
unto great acts of piety. 

Remigius (and from him others) write of a young man 
whose name was Theodore Maillot, unto whom a daemon 
appearing, advised him to reform his life, to abstain from 
drunkenness, thefts, uncleanness, and the like evils ; and 
to fast twice a week, to be constant in attendance upon 
publick worship, and to be very charitable to the poor. 

The like pious advice did another daemon follow a 
certain woman with, unto whom he appeared. Could a 
good angel have given better counsel ? But this was 
Satans policy, hoping that thereby he should have gained 
an advantage to take silly souls alive in his cruel snare. 



APPARITIONS. 149 

Like as thieves upon the road will sometimes enter into 
religious discourse, that so their fellow-travellers may have 
good thoughts of them, and be the more easily dispoyled 
by them. And as the evil spirit will speak good words, 
so doth he sometimes appear in the likeness of good men, 
to the end that he may the more effectually deceive and 
delude all such as shall be so unhappy as to entertain 
converses with him. No doubt but that he knows how to 
transform himself into the shape of not only an ordinary 
saint, but of an Apostle, or holy prophet of God, 2 Cor. 

xi, 13, 14. This we may gather from the sacred history 
of dead Samuel's appearing to Saul. Some are of opinion 

I that real Samuel spake to Saul, his soul being by magical 
incantations returned into his body ; so divers of the 
fathers and school-men ; also Mendoza, Delrio, and other 
Popish authors. Of late M. Glanvil and Dr. Windet 
do in part favour that notion. But Tertullian, and the 
author of the Quest, and Res-pons., which pass under 
the name of Justin Martyr, are of the judgement that a 
lying daemon appeared to Saul in Samuel's likeness. 
Our Protestant divines generally are of this judgment. 
It was customary amongst the Gentiles for magicians and 
necromancers to cause dead persons to appear, and they 
would bring whomsoever they were desired to call for. 
Thus did a wizard by Pompeys command call a dead 
souldier, whom he enquired of the event of the Pharsalic 
war, vide Lucan, lib. 6. Many examples to this purpose 
are recorded in the histories of former times, and men- 
tioned by the old poets. Those apparitions were caco- 
dsemons, which feigned themselves to be the spirits of 
men departed. I see no cogent reason why we should 
not conclude the like with respect unto Samuel's appearing 



150 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

unto Saul. Most certain it is, that the souls of holy men 
departed are not under power of the devils, much less of 
magicians to bring them hither when they please. As 
for those that are gone into the other world, there is a 
gulf fixed, that if men would they cannot pass into this 
world again without leave, Luke xvi, 26. If Dives could 
not bring Lazarus his soul out of Abraham's bosorne, 
how the witch of Endor should be able to bring Samuel's 
soul from thence, I know not. Lyra (and from him others) 
pretends that God then interposed and sent real Samuel 
as he unexpectedly appeared to Baalam, when imployed 
about his magical impostures. But I dare not believe 
that the holy God or the true Samuel would seem so 
far to countenance necromancie or psycomancy as this 
would be, should the soul of Samuel really return into the 
world when a witch called for him, Saul desiring that it 
might be so. This opinion established necromancy, the 
main principal upon which that cursed and lying art is 
built, being this, that it is possible for men to cause the 
souls of dead persons to be brought back again. This 
seeming Samuel did not at all ascribe his appearance to 
the extraordinary providence of God, but rather to the 
devil, since he complained that Saul had by the witch 
disquieted him. The appearing Samuel was seen as- 
cending out of the earth, whenas the true Samuel would 
rather have appeared as descending from heaven. More- 
over, the words of the witches Samuel, when he said, 
"Tomorrow thou and thy sons shall be with me," 1 Sam. 
xxix, 18, are hardly consistent with truth. Nor is it 
likely that the true Samuel would preach nothing but 
desperation to Saul, without so much as once exhorting 
him in a way of repentance, to endeavour that his peace 



APPARITIONS. 151 

might be made with that God, whom he had provoked by 
his sins; v. P. Martyr, in 1 Sam. xxviii, p. 161, 162, 
and Voet. cle Spectris, page 1006. This instance, then, 
doth sufficiently prove that Satan may appear in the shape- 
of an holy man. Some acknowledge that he may do so 
as to persons that are dead, but that he cannot personate 
good and innocent men who are still living. It is by 
some reported, that Mr. Cotton did once deliver such a 
notion. Nothing is more frequent than for the judgment 
of worthy men to be misrepresented after they are gone > 
and not capable of clearing themselves. I know Mr 
Cotton was a man of great reading, and deep judgment 
I shall therefore rather suppose that they who relate 
Mr. Cotton's opinion did themselves mistake him, then 
believe that a man so learned and wise would express 
himself as some say he did. Sure I am, that authentick 
historians mention examples to the contrary. 

Memorable is that which Lavater (de Spectris, part i> 
cap. 19, p. mihi 86) hath testified, sc. that the praefect 
of Zurick, travelling abroad with his servant betimes in the 
morning, they saw an honest citizen committing nefandous 
villany ; at the which being astonished, they returned back, 
and knocking at the citizens door, they found him in his 
own house, nor had he been abroad that morning ; so that 
what the prssfect and his servant beheld, appeared to be 
nothing else but a diabolical illusion : a spiteful daemon 
designing to blast the credit and take away the life of an 
innocent man. It is also reported by Albertus Granzius 
(lib. iv, cap. 5), that Kunegund the empress was for some 
time thought to be guilty of adultery, by reason that a 
noble person was frequently seen going out of her chamber; 
but after it appeared that the suspected noble person had 



152 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

not been there, only a daemon in his shape. I concern 
not myself Avith the authentickness of that relation. The 
matter in hand is sufficiently confirmed by a thing that 
hapned more lately, and nearer home ; for if any of the old 
Puritans, who lived in Colchester in England fifty years 
ago, be yet surviving, they can doubtless remember the 
strange things which hapned to one Mr. Earl, a young man, 
in" those dayes. The devil did then frequently appear to 
him in the shape of some of his acquaintance, and would 
perswade him to three things : 1, that he should abstain 
from praying ; 2, that he should not frequent church- 
meetings ; 3, that he should never marry. But he did not 
hearken to these suggestions. The night wherein he w r as 
married, soon after he and his wife were bedded, the devil 
came into the room, and pulled two of his teeth out of his 
head, which put him to great pain ; whereupon he cried 
out, and when his friends came in, they found his mouth 
bloody, and used means to ease his pain. This Mr. Earl 
was afterwards for the space of ten years, ever and anon 
assaulted by the devil, who under many appearances of his 
friends, did endeavour to seduce him. There were then 
two famous men, ministers of those parts, viz. Mr. John 
Rogers of Dedharn (who was father to the late eminent 
Mr. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich in New England), and 
Mr. Liddal of Colchester. "With these Mr. Earl did con- 
verse for comfort and instruction, but chiefly with Mr. 
Liddal, than whom there was not a man more eminent for 
godliness. It fell out once that the devil came to Mr. Earl 
in Mr. Liddal's shape, and, as Mr. Earl's custom was, he did 
propose to the seeming Mr. Liddal his cases of conscience; 
but found that Mr. Liddal did not discourse after his 
ordinary rate, which made him suspect whether he was not 



APPARITIONS. 153 

imposed upon by a deceitful daemon. The next day, going 
to Mr. Liddal's house, he enquired whether he was with 
him the day before ; Mr. Liddal told him that he was not j 
" Then," said Mr. Earl, " it was my enemy in your shape. 
What a miserable man am I, that know not when I speak 
with my enemy or with my friend ! " To which Mr. Liddal 
replied : " If you would know when you speak with a spirit 
or with a man, remember and follow the advice of Christ ; 
who, when he appeared to his disciples after his resur- 
rection, and they thought he had been a spirit, and were 
therefore troubled, he said to them, ' Handle me and see, 
for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have.' 
Luke xxiv, 39." This advice Mr. Earl follo\ved ; for not 
long after the devil coming to him in Mr. Liddal's shape, he 
went to take hold on his arms, but could feel no substance, 
only a vanishing shadow. It seems that this Mr. Earl 
was once an atheist, that did not believe that there was 
either God or devil, and would often walk in solitary and 
dismal places, wishing for the sight of a spirit ; and that 
he was first assaulted by a devil in a church-yard. And 
though God mercifully gave him repentance, yet he was 
miserably haunted with an evil spirit all his dayes. I find 
that Mr. Clark in his first volume of Examples, chap, civ, 
p. 510, hath some part of this strange Providence, but he 
mentions not Mr. Earl's name. A gentleman worthy of 
credit affirmed this relation to be most certainly true, 
according to the particulars which have been declared ; I 
have thought it, therefore, not unworthy the publication. 

There is another remarkable passage to this purpose, 
which hapned of later years, wherein the Turkish Chaous, 
baptized at London, January 30, A.D. 1658, was concerned. 



154 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

This Chaous being alone in his chamber, 3h P.M. a 
person in the likeness of Mr. Dury, the minister with 
whom he did most ordinarily converse, came and sat by 
him. This seeming Mr. Dury told him, that he had 
waited with a great deal of patience as to the matter of 
his baptism ; and that himself had endeavoured by all 
means possible to procure it to be performed with publick 
countenance ; and to that effect, had dealt with Richard, 
and several of his counsel, but that now he perceived that 
it was in vain to strive or wait longer; and therefore 
advised him not to be much troubled at it ; but, setting 
his mind at rest, to leave these thoughts, and take up his 
resolution another way. When the Chaous heard this dis- 
course, being much perplexed in his spirit, he lifted up his 
hands and eyes to Heaven, uttering words to this effect : 
11 my Lord Jesus Christ, what a miserable thing is this, 
that a true Christian cannot be owned by other Christians ; 
that one who believeth on thee cannot be baptized into 
thy name." When he had so spoken, looking down he saw 
nobody, the appearance of Mr. Dury being vanished, 
which was at first an amazement to him ; but recollecting 
himself, he began to rejoyce, as hoping that Satan would 
be disappointed of his plot. About 8h. at night, the true 
Mr. Dury met with the Chaous, who acquainted him with 
what had hapned to him, so did he more fully understand 
how he had been imposed upon by Satan. The mentioned 
instances are enough to prove that the devil may possibly 
appear in the shape of good men, and that not only of such 
as are dead, but of the still living. It might, as a further 
confirmation of the truth we assert, have been here noted, 
that the devil doth frequently amongst the Papists visibly 
appear, pretending to be Christ himself, as their own 



APPARITIONS. 155 

authors do acknowledge. They affirm that he came in the 
shape of Christ to Pachomius and to St. Martin. So hath 
he often appeared in the form of the Virgin Mary, whereby 
miserable souls have been seduced into gross idolatries. 
It is likewise reported, that when Luther had spent a day 
in fasting and prayer, there appeared to him one seeming 
to be Christ ; but Luther said to him, " Away, thou con- 
founded devil, I will have no Christ but what is in my 
Bible," whereupon the apparition vanished. 

As for the spirits of men deceased, it is certain they 
cannot reassume their bodies, nor yet come to men in this 
world when they will, or without a permission from Him, 
in whose hand they are. Chrysostom, in his second 
sermon concerning Lazarus, saith the daemons would 
oftentimes appear, falsely pretending themselves to be the 
souls of some lately dead. He saith, that he himself knew 
many dsemoniacks ; that the spirits in them would feign 
the voice of men lately killed, and would discover the 
secrets of such persons, professing that they were the souls- 
of those very men. But those were no other then devilish 
lies. Upon which account men had need be exceeding 
wary what credit they give unto, or how they entertain 
communion with, such spectres. I do not say that all 
such apparitions are diabolical ; only that many of them 
are so. And as yet I have not met with any re/c^/Ha, 
whereby the certain appearance of a person deceased may 
be infallibly discerned from a meer diabolical illusion. 
The rules of judging in this case, described by Malde'rus, 
are very fallible. 

As for the moving and procuring cause of such appari- 



156 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

tions, commonly it is by reason of some sin not discover- 
able in any other way ; either some act of injustice done 
or it may be some murder committed. Platina, .Nau- 
clerus, and others, relate that Pope Benedict VIII did after 
his death appear sitting upon a black horse before a bishop 
of his acquaintance, declaring the reason to be, in that he 
had in his lifetime nefariously consumed a great sum of 
money which belonged to the poor. And there are fresh 
examples to this purpose lately published in the second 
edition of Mr. Glanvil's Sadducismus Triumpliatm. He 
there speaks of a man in Guildford, unto whom belonged 
rsome copyhold land which was to descend to his children ; 
he dying, leaving no child born, his brother took 
possession of the estate. So it hapned that the deceased 
man's wife conceived with child but a little before her 
husbands death, which after she perceived, by the advice of 
her neighbours, she told her brother-in-law how matters 
were circumstanced ; he railed upon her, calling her whore, 
and said he would not be fooled out of his estate so. The 
poor woman went home troubled, that not only her child 
should lose the land, but which was worse, that she should 
be thought an whore. In due time she was delivered of a 
son. Some time after which, as her brother-in-law was 
going out of the field, his dead brother (the father of the 
injured child) appeared to him at the stile, and bid him 
give up the land to the child, for it was his right. The 
brother being greatly affrighted at this spectre, ran away, 
and not long after came to his sister, saying, she had sent 
the devil to him, and bid her take the land ; and her son 
is now possessed of it. 

The same author relates that the wife of Dr. Bretton of 



APPARITIONS. 157 

Deptford (being a person of extraordinary piety) did 
appear after her death. A maid of hers, whose name was 
Alice (for whom in her lif etirne she had a great kindness), 
married a near neighbour. As this Alice was rocking her 
infant in the night, some one knocking at the door, she 
arose and opened it, and was surprized by the sight 
of a gentlewoman not to be distinguished from her late 
mistriss. At the first sight she expressed great amaze- 
ment and said, " Were not my mistriss dead I should 
conclude you are she." The apparition replied, "I am 
she which was your mistriss ;" and withal added, that she 
had a business of great importance to imploy her in, and 
that she must immediately go a little way with her. Alice 
trembled, and entreated her to go to her master, who was 
fitter to be employed than she. The seeming mistriss 
replied that she had been in the chamber of him who was 
once her husband, but he was asleep ; nor had she any 
commission to awake him. Alice then objected that her 
child was apt to cry vehemently, and should she leave it, 
some hurt might come to him. The apparition replied, 
"The child shall sleep until you return." Seeing there 
was no avoiding it, Alice followed her over the style into a 
large field, who said, " Observe how much of this field I 
measure with my feet ;" and when she had took a good 
large leisurly compass, she said, " All this belongs to the 
poor, it being gotten from them by wrongful means ;" and 
charged her to go and tell her brother, whose it was at 
that time, that he should give it up to the poor again 
forthwith, as he loved her and his deceased mother. This 
brother was not the person that did this unjust act, but 
his father. She added, that she was the more concerned, 
because her name was made use of in some writing that 



158 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

related to this land. Alice asked her how she should 
satisfie her brother that this was no cheat or delusion of 
her phansie ? She replied, "Tell him this secret, which he 
knows that only himself and I am privy to, and he will 
believe you." Alice promised her to go on this errand. 
She entertained her the rest of the night with divine 
discourse and heavenly exhortations; but when the 
twilight appeared, the spectre said, " I must be seen by 
none but yourself," and so disappeared. Immediately, 
Alice makes hast home, being thoughtful for her child, but 
found it, as the spectre said, fast asleep in the cradle. 
That day she went to her master the doctor, who, amazed 
at the account she gave, sent her to his brother-in-law. 
He at first hearing of Alice's story, laughed at it heartily, 
supposing her to be troubled with strange whimsies ; but 
then she told him of the secret which her appearing 
mistriss, the gentleman's sister, had revealed ; upon which 
he presently changed his countenance, and told her he 
would give the poor their own, which accordingly he did, 
and they now enjoy it. Dr. Bretton himself (being a 
person of great sincerity) gave a large narrative of his 
wives apparition to several, and, amongst others, to 
Dr. Whichcot; and this narrative was attested unto by 
Mr. Edward Fowler, Feb. 16, 1680. See Mr. Glanvil's 
Collection of Relations, p. 197. 

In the same book, p. 243, he relates concerning one 
Francis Tavern er, that in September, 1662, riding late at 
night from Hilbrough in Ireland, there appeared to him 
one in the likeness of James Haddock, formerly an inhabi- 
tant in Malone, where he died five years before. Taverner 
asked him who he was ; the spectre replied, I am James 



APPARITIONS. 159 

Haddock you may call me to mind by this token, that 
about five years ago, I and two other friends were at your 
fathers house, and you by your fathers appointment 
brought us some nuts, therefore be not afraid ; and told 
him if he would ride along with him he would acquaint 
him with a business he had to deliver to him. Which 
Taverner refused to do : upon his going from the spectre, 
he heard hideous scrieches and noises, to his great amaze 
ment. The night after there appeared again to him, the 
likeness of James Haddock, telling him, that the woman 
who had been his wife, when living, was now married 
unto one Davis in Malone ; and that the said Davis and 
his wife wronged the son of James Haddock ; and that 
the will of Haddock, who had given a lease to his son, 
was not fulfilled ; and therefore he desired Taverner to 
acquaint them therewith, and to see his son righted. 
Taverner neglected to deliver his message, whereupon the 
spectre appeared again unto him in divers formidable 
shapes, threatning to tear him in pieces, if he did not do 
as he was required. This made him leave his house 
where he dwelt in the mountains and remove to the town 
of Belfast, where it appeared to him again in the house 
of one Pierce, severely threatning of him. Upon which 
Taverner, being much troubled in his spirit, acquainted 
some of his friends with his perplexity. They take 
advice from Dr. Downs, then minister in Belfast, and 
Mr. James South, chaplain to the Lord Chichester, who 
went with Taverner to the house of Davis, and in their 
presence he declared to her, that he could not be quiet 
for the ghost of her former husband James Haddock, who 
threatened to tear him in pieces, if he did not tell her 
she must right John Haddock her son by him, in a lease 



1 60 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENQES. 

wherein she and Davis her now husband had wronged 
him. Two nights after, the spectre came to him again, 
looking pleasantly upon him, asking if he had done the 
message 1 He answered, he had. Then he was told, he 
must do the like to the executors. The day following 
Dr. Jeremie Taylor, bishop of Down, Connor, and Dro- 
more, being to keep court at Dromore, ordered his 
Secretary (Thomas Alcock) to send for Taverner, who 
accordingly came, and was strictly examined. The bishop 
advised him, the next time the spectre appeared to him, 
to ask him these questions : " Whence are you ? Are 
you a good or bad spirit 1 where is your abode 1 what 
station do you hold? How are you regimented in the 
other world 1 And what is the reason that you appear 
for the relief of your son in so small a matter, when so 
many widows and orphans are oppressed in the world, and 
none of their relations appear as you do to right them?" 
That night Taverner lodged at my Lord Con ways, where 
he saw the spectre coming over a wall ; and approaching 
near to him, asked if he had done his message to the 
executor also ? He replied, he had, and wondered that he 
should be still troubled. The apparition bid him not be 
afraid, for it would not hurt him, nor appear to him any 
more, but to the executor, if the orphan were not righted. 
Taverners brother being by, put him in mind to propound 
the bishops questions to the spirit; which he did; but the 
spectre gave no answer to them ; only seemed to crawl 
on his hands and feet over the wall again, and vanished 
with a melodious harmony. The persons concerned about 
the lease (much against their wills) disposed of it for the 
use of Haddock's son, only for fear lest the apparition 
should molest them also. Thus concerning this. Before 



APPARITIONS. 161 

I pass to the next relation, I cannot but animadvert upon 
what is here expressed, concerning the questions which 
the bishop would needs have propounded to, and resolved 
by this spectre. 1 am perswaded that the Apostle Paul, 
who speaks of a mans intruding into those things which he 
hath not seen, Col. ii, 18, would hardly have given such 
counsel as the bishop did. One of his questions (viz. 
" Are you a good or a bad spirit 1 ?") seems to be a needless 
and impertinent enquiry ; for good angels never appear in 
the shape of dead men ; but evil and wicked spirits have 
oftentimes done so. His other queries savour too much of 
vain curiosity ; they bring to mind what is by that great 
historian, Thuanus (lib. cxxx, page 1136), reported con- 
cerning Peter Cotton the Jesuit, who, having a great 
desire to be satisfied about some questions which 110 man 
living could resolve him in, he applied himself to a maid 
who was possessed with a devil, charging the spirit in her 
to resolve his proposals ; some of which were relating to 
this world, e.g., he desired the devil, if he could, to tell 
him when Calvinism would be extinguished 1 and what 
would be the most effectual means to turn the kingdome 
of England from the Protestant to the Popish religion ? 
what would be the issue of the wars and great designs 
then on foot in the world? Other of his enquiries 
respected the old world: e.g. How Noah could take the 
living creatures that were brought into the ark? who 
those sons of God were who loved the daughters of men 
whether serpents went upon feet before Adam's fall ? &c. 
Some of his questions respected the other world. He 
would have the spirit to resolve him, How long the fallen 
angels were in heaven before they were cast down from. 
thence 1 ? And what is the most evident place in the 

11 



162 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

Scripture to prove that there is a purgatory 1 Who are 
the seven spirits who stand before the throne of God? 
Who is the king of the arch-angels 1 Where Paradise is? 
]tfow, let the reader judge whether Dr. Taylor's questions, 
when he would have the spectre resolve him, "Where is 
your abode? What station do you hold? How are you 
regimented in the other world" &c. be not as curious as 
some of these of the Jesuits. Wise men thought it tended 
much to the disreputation of Peter Cotton, when, through 
his incogitant leaving the book wherein his enquiries of 
the daemon were written with a friend, the matter came 
to be divulged. I cannot think that Dr. Taylor's secretary 
his publishing these curiosities of his lord hath added 
much to his credit amongst sober and judicious persons. 

There is a tragical passage related in the story of the 
daemon, which for three moneths molested the house of 
Mr. Perreaud, a Protestant minister in Matiscon. One in 
the room would needs be propounding needless questions 
for the devil to answer, though Mr. Perreaud told him of 
the danger in it. After a deal of discourse, the devil 
said to him, "You should have hearkened to the ministers 
good counsel, who told you that you ought not to ask 
curious questions of the devil ; yet you would do it, and 
now I must school you for your pains." Presently upon 
which, the man was by an invisible hand plucked up by 
his thumb, and twirled round, and thrown down upon the 
floor, and so continued in most grievous misery. I hope, 
then, that none will be emboldened from the bishops 
advice, to enquire at the mouth of devils or of apparitions, 
iintil such time as they know whether they are devils or 
no. But to pass on. 

That the ghosts of dead persons have sometimes 



APPARITIONS. 163 

appeared, that so the sin of murder (as well as that of 
theft) might be discovered, is a thing notoriously known. 
I shall only mention two or three examples for this ; and 
the rather because some who are very unapt to believe 
things of this nature, yet have given credit to those rela- 
tions. Two of the stories are recited by Mr. Webster in 
his Book of Witchcraft. He saith (p. 297) : 

" That about the year 1623, one Fletcher, of Raskelf, a 
town in the North Riding of Yorkshire, a yeoman of a good 
estate, married a woman from Thornton Brigs, who had 
formerly been naught with one Ralph Raynard, who kept 
an inn within half a mile from Raskelf, in the high road 
betwixt York and Thirsk, his sister living with him. 
This Raynard, continuing in unlawful lust with Fletcher's 
wife, and not being content therewith, conspired the death 
of Fletcher ; one Mark Dunn being made privy, and hired 
to assist in the murther ; which Raynard and Dunn accom- 
plished upon May Day, by drowning him, as they were 
travelling all three together from a town called Huby, 
and acquainted the wife with the deed ; she gave them a 
sack therein to convey his body, which they did, and 
buried it in Raynard's back side, or croft, where an old 
oak had been stubbed up, and sowed mustard-seed in the 
place, thereby to hide it. They then continued their 
wicked course of lust and drunkenness ; and the neigh- 
bours did much wonder at Fletchers absence ; but his wife 
excused it, and said, 'he was only gone aside, for fear of 
some writs being served upon him;' and so it continued till 
about July 7 after, when Raynard going to Topcliff fair, and 
setting up his horse in the stable, the spirit of Fletcher, in 
his usual shape and habit, did appear unto him, and said, 
'0 Ralph! repent! repent! for my revenge is at hand!' 

lla 



164 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

and ever after, until he was put in the gaol, the spirit 
seemed continually to stand before him, whereby he became 
sad and restless ; and his own sister, overhearing his con- 
fession and relation of it to another person, did, through 
fear of losing her own life, immediately reveal it to Sir 
William Sheffield, who lived in Raskelf ; whereupon Kay- 
nard, Dunn and the wife, were all three apprehended, and 
sent to the gaol at York, where they were condemned and 
executed, near the place where Raynard lived and Fletcher 
was buried; the two men being hung up in chains, and 
the woman burned under the gallows. I have recited this 
story punctually, as a thing that hath been very much 
fixed on my memory (being then but young), and a certain 
truth, I being (with many more) an ear-witness of their 
confessions, and eye-witness of their executions, and like- 
wise saw Fletcher when he was taken up, where they had 
buried him in his clothes, which were a green fustian 
doublet pinckt upon white, and his walking boots, and 
brass spurs, without rowels." Thus Mr. Webster. 
Again the same author (p. 298) relates 
"That about the year 1632, there lived one Walker, 
near Chester, who was a yeoman of a good estate, and a 
widower; he had a young kinswoman to keep his house, 
who was by the neighbours suspected to be with child, and 
was sent away one evening in the dark with one Mark 
Sharp, a collier, and was not heard of, nor little notice 
taken of her, till a long time after, one James Grayham, 
a miller, who lived two miles from Walker's house, being 
one night alone very late in his mill, grinding corn, about 
twelve a clock at night, the doors being shut, there stood 
a woman in the midst of the floor, with her hair hanging 
down all bloody, and five large wounds in her head. He 



APPARITIONS. 165 

was very much frighted, yet had the courage to ask her 
who she was, and what she wanted? To whom she 
answered, ' I am the spirit of such a woman, who lived 
with Walker ; and being got with child by him, he pro- 
mised to send me to a private place, where I should be 
well lookt to till I was brought a bed and well, and then 
I should come again and keep his house ; and, accordingly' 
(said the apparition), * I was one night late sent away with 
one Mark Sharp, who upon a moor' (naming a place which 
the miller knew) ' slew me with a pick such as men dig 
coals withal, and gave me these five wounds, and after 
threw my body into a coal pit hard by, and hid the pick 
under the bank ; and his shoes and stockins being bloody, 
he endeavoured to wash them, but seeing the blood would 
not wash off, he left them there.' And the apparition 
further told the miller, that he must be the man to 
reveal it, or else she must still appear and haunt him. 
The miller returned home very sad and heavy, but spake 
not one word of what he had seen, yet eschewed as much 
as he could to stay in the mill in the night without com- 
pany, thinking thereby to escape the seeing this dreadful 
apparition. But, notwithstanding, one night when it 
began to be dark, the apparition met him again, and 
seemed very fierce and cruel, and threatning him, that if he 
did not reveal the murder she would continually pursue 
and haunt him yet, for all this, he still concealed it, 
until St. Thomas Eve before Christmas, when being, soon 
after sunset, walking in his garden, she appeared again, 
and then so threatned and affrighted him, that he pro- 
mised faithfully to reveal it the next morning. In the 
morning he went to a magistrate and discovered the whole 
matter, with all the circumstances ; and, diligent search 



166 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

being made, the body was found in a coal-pit, with five 
wounds in the head, and the pick and shoes and stocking, 
yet bloody, and in every circumstance as the apparition 
had related to the miller. Whereupon Walker and Mark 
Sharp were both apprehended, but would confess nothing. 
At the assizes following (I think it was at Durham) they 
were arraigned, found guilty, and hanged; but I could 
never hear that they confessed the fact. It was reported 
that the apparition did appear to the judge, or the 
foreman of the jury, but of that I know no certainty. 
There are many persons yet alive that can remember this 
strange murder ; and I saw and read the letter which was 
sent to Serjeant Hutton about it from the judge before 
whom they were tried, which maketh me relate it with 
greater confidence." 

Thus far we have Mr. Webster's relations. 

It is also credibly attested, that a thing no less remark- 
able than either of the former hapned but nine years ago 
at another place in England. The sum of the story, as it 
is published in Mr. GlanviPs Collection of Relations, 
p. 172, is this: 

On the 9th of November, 1674, Thomas Goddard, of 
Marlborough, in the county of Wilts, as he was going to 
Ogborn, about 9h. A.M. he met the apparition of his 
father-in-law, Edward Avon, who had been dead about 
half a year. He seemed to stand by the stile which 
Goddard was to go over. When he came near, the spectre 
spake to him with an audible voice, saying, " Are you 
afraid ? " to whom he answered, " I am thinking of one 
who is dead and buried, whom you are like." To which 
the apparition replied, " I am he : come near me, I will do 



APPARITIONS. 167 

you no harm." To which Goddard replied, " I trust in 
Him who hath bought my soul with his precious blood, 
you shall do me no harm." Then the spectre said, "How 
stand cases at home 1 ?" Goddard asked, " What cases ?" 
Then it asked him, "How doth William and Mary?" mean- 
ing belike, his son William and his daughter Mary, whom 
this Goddard had married. And it said, " What 1 Taylor 
is dead ! " meaning, as Goddard thought, one of that name 
in London, who had married another of Avon's daughters,, 
and died in September before this. The spectre offered 
him some money, desiring it might be sent to his daughter^ 
that was lately become a widow ; but Goddard answered, 
" In the name of Jesus Christ I refuse all such money." 
Then the apparition said, " I perceive you are afraid ; I 
will meet you some other time." So it went away. The 
next night about 7h. it came and opened his shop- window,. 
and looked him in the face, but said nothing ; and the 
next night after, as Goddard went into his back-side, with 
a candle light in his hand ; but he, being affrighted, ran 
into his house, and saw it no more at that time. But on 
Thursday, November 12, as he came from Chilton, the 
apparition met him again, and stood (about eight foot)- 
directly before him, and said with a loud voice, "Thomas, 
bid William Avon take the sword which he had of me, 
which is now in his house, and carry to the wood as we 
goe to Alton, to the upper end of the wood by the wayes 
side ; for with that sword I did wrong above thirty yearn 
ago and he never prospered since twas his. And do you 
speak with Edward Lawrence, and I desire you to pay 
him twenty shillings out of the money which you received 
of James Eliot at two payments ; for I borrowed so much 
money of Edward Lawrence, and said that I had paid him, 



168 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

but I did not pay it him." This money was received of 
James Eliot on a bond due to Avon, and Goddard had it 
at two payments after Avon had been dead several nioneths. 
Lawrence saith that he lent Avon twenty shillings in 
money about twenty years ago, which was never paid him 
again. November 23, Goddard did, by order from the 
mayor of the town, go with his brother-in-law, William 
Avon, with the sword to the place where the apparition 
said it should be carried. And coming away thence, 
Goddard looking back saw the same apparition, where- 
upon he called to his brother-in-law and said, lt Here is 
the apparition of your father ! " William replied, " I see 
nothing." Then Goddard fell upon his knees, and said, 
" Lord, open his eyes that he may see." But William said, 
" Lord, grant that I may not see it, if it be thy blessed 
will." Then the ghost did, to Goddard's apprehension, 
becken with his hand. To whom Goddard said, " What 
would you have me to do 1 ?" The apparition replied, 
" Take up the sword and follow me." To which he said, 
" Should both of us come, or but one of us ?" The spectre 
replied, " Thomas, do you take up the sword." So he 
took it up, and followed the apparition about ten poles 
into the wood. Then the spectre coming towards Goddard, 
he stept back two steps ; but it said to him, " I have a 
permission to you, and a commission not to touch you." 
Then it took the sword, and went to the place at which 
before it stood, and pointed the top of the sword into the 
ground, and said, " In this place was buried the body of 
him whom I murdered in the year 1635, but it is now 
rotten and turned to dust." Whereupon Goddard said, 
" For what cause did you murder him ? " The seeming- 
Avon replied, " I took money from the man, and he con- 



APPARITIONS. 169 

tended with me, and so I murdered him." Then Goddarcl 
said, " Who was confederate with you in the murder 1 " 
The spectre answered, " None hut myself." "What," said 
Goddard, " would you have me do in this thing ? " The 
apparition replied, " Only to let the world know that I 
murdered a man, and buried him in this place, in the year 
1635." Then the spectre laid down the sword on the 
bare ground there, whereupon grew nothing, but seemed 
to Goddard to be as a grave sunk in. All this while 
William Avon remained where Goddard left him, and said 
he saw no apparition, only heard Goddard speak to the 
spectre, and discerned another voice also, making reply to 
Goddard's enquiries, but could not understand the words 
uttered by that voice. The next day the mayor caused 
men to dig in the place where the spectre said the body 
was buried, but nothing could be found. 

These examples then, show that the ghosts of dead 
men do sometimes appear, and that for such causes as 
those mentioned. There have been some in the world so 
desperate as to make solemn covenants with their living 
friends to appear unto them after their death ; and some- 
times (though not alwayes) it hath come to pass. It is 
a remarkable passage which Baronius relates concerning 
Marsilius Ficinus and his great intimate, Michael Mercatus. 
These two, having been warmly disputing about the immor- 
tality of the soul, entered into a solemn vow, that if there 
were truth in those notions about a future state in another 
world, he which died first should appear to his surviving 
friend. Not long after this Ficinus died. On a morning 
when Mercatus was intent upon his studies, he heard the 
voice of Ficinus his friend at his window, with a loud cry, 
saying, " Michael ! Michael ! Vera, vera sunt ilia: 0, my 



170 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

friend Michael, those notions about the souls of men being 
immortal, they are true ! they are true ! " Whereupon 
Mercatus opened his window, and saw his friend Marsilius 
Ficinus, whom he called unto, but he vanished away. He 
presently sent to Florence to know how Ficinus did, and 
was informed that he died about the hour when his ghost 
appeared at Mercatus his window. 

There are also later instances, and nearer home, not 
altogether unlike to this ; for in Mr. Glanvil's late Collec- 
tion of Relations (which we have had occasion more than 
once to mention), it is said that Dr. Farrar and his 
daughter made a compact, that the first of them which 
died, if happy, should after death appear to the surviver, 
if possible : his daughter with some difficulty consenting 
to the agreement. Some time after, the daughter, living 
then near Salisbury, fell in labour ; and, having by an 
unhappy mistake a noxious potion given to her instead of 
another prepared, suddenly died. That very night she 
appeared in the room where her father then lodged, in 
London, and opening the curtains looked upon him. He 
had before heard nothing of her illness, but upon this 
apparition confidently told his servant, that his daughter 
was dead, and two dayes after received the news. 

Likewise, one Mr. Watkinson, who lived in Smithfield, 
told his daughter (taking her leave of him, and expressing 
her fears that she should never see him more), that should 
he die, if ever God did permit the dead to see the living, 
he would see her again. Now, after he had been dead 
about half a year, on a night when she was in bed but 
could not sleep, she heard musick, and the chamber grew 
lighter and lighter ; she then saw her father by the bed 
side, who said, " Mall, did not I tell thee that I would see 



APPARITIONS. 171 

thee again ? " He exhorted her to be patient under her 
afflictions, and to carry it dutiful towards her mother; 
and told her that her child that was born since his 
departure should not trouble her long ; and bid her speak 
what she would speak to him now, for he must go, and 
she should see him no more upon earbh. Vide GlanviTs 
Cottection8 t pp. 189 192. Sometimes the great and holy 
God hath permitted, and by his providence ordered, such 
apparitions, to the end g that atheists might thereby be 
astonished and affrighted out of their infidelity. 

Nam primus timor fecit in orbe Deos. 

Kemarkable and very solemn is the relation of the 
appearance of Major Sydenham's ghost mentioned in the 
book but now cited (p. 181) : it is in brief this : Major 
George Sydenham of Dulverton in Somerset, and Captain 
William Dyke of Skillgate in that county, used to have 
many disputes about the being of God, and the immor- 
tality of the soul ; in which point they continued unre- 
solved. To issue their controversies, they agreed that he 
that died first should, the third night after his funeral, 
between the hours of twelve and one, appear at a little 
house in the garden. After Sydenham was dead, Captain 
Dyke repairs to the place appointed between them two. 
He acquainted a near kinsman, Dr. Thomas Dyke, with 
his design, by whom he was earnestly diss waded from 
going to that place at that time ; and was told that the 
devil might meet him and be his ruine, if he would venture 
on in such rash attempts. The captain replied that he 
had solemnly engaged, and nothing should discourage 
him. Accordingly, betwixt twelve and one he went into 
the garden-house, and there tarried two or three hours 



172 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

without seeing or hearing any thing more than what was 
usual. About six weeks after, Captain Dyke rides to 
Eaton, to place his son a scholar there. The morning 
before he returned from thence, after it was light, one 
came to his bed-side, and, suddenly drawing back the 
curtains, calls, " Cap ! Cap ! " (which was the term of 
familiarity which the major when living used to call the 
captain by). He presently perceived it was his major, and 
replieth, " What, my major !" On the table in the room 
there lay a sword which the major had formerly given to 
the captain. After the seeming major had walked a turn 
or two about the room, he took up the sword, and drew 
it out, and not finding it so bright and clean as it ought, 
" Cap ! Cap !" said he, "this sword did not use to be kept 
after this manner when it was mine." He also said to the 
captain, " I could not come to you at the time appointed ; 
but I am now come to tell you that there is a God, and 
that he is a very just and a terrible God, and if you do 
not turn over a new leaf you will find it so." So did he 
suddenly disappear. The captain arose and came into 
another chamber (where his kinsman, Dr. Dyke, lodged) ; 
but in a visage and form much differing from himself, his 
hair standing, his eyes staring, and his whole body 
trembling, telling with much affection what he had seen. 
The captain lived about two years after this, but was 
much altered in his conversation, the words uttered by 
his majors ghost ever sounding in his ears. Thus of that 
remarkable providence. 

I have not mentioned these things, as any way 
approving of such desperate covenants; there is great 
hazard attending them. It may be, after men have made 



APPARITIONS. 173 

such agreements, devils may appear to them, pretending to 
be their deceased friends, and thereby their souls may be 
drawn into woful snares. Who knoweth whether God will 
! permit the persons, who have thus confederated, to appear 
in this world again after their death < \ and if not, then the 
surviver will be under great temptation unto atheism; as 
it fell out with the late Earl of Rochester, who (as is 
reported in his Life, p. 16, by Dr. Burnet) did, in the year 
1665, enter into a formal ingagement with another gen 
tleman, not without ceremonies of religion, that if either 
of them died, he should appear and give the other notice 
of the future state, if there were any. After this the other 
gentleman was killed, but did never appear after his death 
to the Earl of Rochester, which was a great snare to him 
during the rest of his life. Though when God awakened 
the earl's conscience upon his death-bed, he could not but 
acknowledge that one who had so corrupted the natural 
principles of truth as he had, had no reason to expect that 
such an extraordinary thing should be done for his convic- 
tion. Or, if such agreement should necessitate an appari- 
tion, how would the world be confounded with spectres ; 
how many would probably be scared out of their wits; or 
what curious questions would vain men be proposing 
about things which are (and it is meet they should be) hid 
from mortals ! I cannot think that men who make such 
covenants (except it be with very much caution, as I have 
heard that Mr. Knewstubs and another eminent person 
did) are duely mindful of that Scripture, Deut. xxix, 29, 
"The secret things belong to the Lord ; but those things 
which are revealed belong to us." Moreover, such sights 
are not desirable; for many times they appear as fore- 
runners of notable judgements at hand. I could instance 



74 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

out of approved history, how particular families have 
found that things of this nature have come to them as the 
messengers of death. Lavater, in his book de Spectris, 
and Goulartius, in his Select History, say, that spectres are 
the harbingers of publick mutations, wars, and calamitous 
times. Voetius, in his disputation, de Peste, sheweth that 
sometimes the plague or strange diseases follow after such 
appearances. There was lately a very formidable appari- 
tion at Meenen. We are advised, that there did appear in 
that place a person all in white, with a mitre on his head, 
being followed with two more in black ; after him came 
four or five squadrons, who drew up as if they intended 
to storm the town. The souldiers there refused to stand 
their centry, having been so affrighted as that some of 
them fell down in their posts. These spectres appeared 
every night in June, 1682. How it is there since that, 
or what events have followed in that place, I know not; 
but I find in credible authors, that oftentimes mischief and 
destruction unto some or other hath been the effect of 
apparitions. Luther tells us of a shepherd (of whom also 
he speaketh charitably) that, being haunted with a spirit, 
the apparition told him, that after eight dayes he would 
appear to him again, and carry him away and kill him ; 
and so it came to pass. The ministers whom the poor 
man acquainted with his sorrowful estate, advised him not 
to despair of the salvation of his soul, though God should 
suffer the devil to kill his body. I have read of threescore 
persons all killed at once by an apparition. George 
Agricola giveth an account of twelve men, that as they 
were digging in the mines, a spectre slew them. Some 
have been filled with such anxiety at the appearance of a 
spectre, that in one nights time the hair of their heads has 



APPARITIONS. 175 

turned white. Lavater speaketh of a man, who one night 
meeting with an apparition, the terror of it caused such a 
sudden change in him, as that when he came home his 
own children did not know him. We may then conclude 
that the witlings of this drolling age know not what they 
do, when they make themselves sport with subjects of this 
nature. I shall only add this further here, that from the 
things which have been related, it is evident that they are 
mistaken who suppose devils cannot appear to men except 
with some deformities whereby they are easily discovered. 
The nymphs which deluded many of old, when the world 
was buried under heathenism, were daemons, presenting 
themselves in shapes very formose. Vide Mcartinii Leneic. 
in verbo Nymphce. 





CHAPTER VIII. 

SEVERAL CASES OF CONSCIENCE CONSIDERED. 

That it is not lawful to make use of herbs or plants to drive away evil 
spirits ; nor of words or characters. An objection answered. Whether 
it be lawful for persons bewitched to burn things, or to nail horse-shoes 
before then- doors, or to stop urin in bottles, or the like, in order to the 
recovery of health. The negative proved by several arguments. Whether 
it be lawful to try witches by casting them into the water. Several 
reasons evincing the vanity of that way of probation. Some other 
superstitions witnessed against. 

'HE preceding relations about witchcrafts and 
diabolical impostures give us too just occasion 
to make enquiry into some cases of conscience, 
respecting things of this nature. And in the 
first place the qucere may be : 

Whither it is lawful to make use of any sort of herbs 
or plants to preserve from witchcrafts, or from the power 
of evil spirits 1 The answer unto which is : That it is in 
no wise lawful, but that all attempts of that nature are 
magical and diabolical, and therefore detestable super- 
stition ; as appears 1. In that if the devils do either 
operate or cease to do mischief upon the use of such 
things, it must needs be in that they are signs which give 
notice to the evil spirits what they are to do. Now, for 
men to submit to any of the devils sacraments is implicitly 
to make a covenant with him. Many who practise these 

176 




CONSCIENCE. 177 

nefarious vanities little think what they do. They would 
not for the world (they say) make a covenant with the 
devil; yet, by improving the devils signals, with an 
opinion of receiving benefit thereby, they do the thing 
which they pretend to abhor. For, 2. Angels (bad as well 
as good) are by nature incorporeal substances. There are 
some authors, who by a corporeal substance intend no 
more but a real being ; so that the term is by them used 
in opposition to meer phantasms in that sence ; none but 
Sadduces will deny angels to be corporeal ; and in that 
respect the antient doctors, Tertullian and others, call 
them corpora. But commonly a body is set in opposition 
to a meer spiritual substance, Mat. x, 28 ; Heb. xii, 13 ; 
and thus it is certain that daemons are incorporeal, Eph. 
vi, 12. They are frequently, not only by authors, but in 
the Holy Scripture, stiled spirits, because of their being 
incorporeal. And thence it is that they are not visible or 
palpable, or any way incurring the outward sences, Luke 
xxiv, 39. Homer saith, that when the ghost of Anticlea 
appeared to Ulysses, he attempted three times to embrace 
that image, but could feel nothing, for it had not o-ap/cas 
/ecu 6<TTfa, but, as Virgil expresseth it, tenues sine corpore 
vitas. Cajetan and Vasquez affirm that apparitions can at 
no time be felt. It is not to be doubted but that spirits 
may make use of vehicles that are subject to the outward 
senses ; nevertheless, a meer spirit cannot be touched by 
humane hands. Moreover, we read of a legion of daemons 
possessing one miserable body, Luke viii, 30. A legion is 
at least 6000 ; now, if they were corporeal substances, it 
could not be that so many of them should be in the same 
person at the same time; and if they are incorporeal sub- 
stances, then it is not possible that herbs or any sensible 

12 



178 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

objects should have a natural influence upon them as they 
have upon elementary bodies. This argument is of such 
weight, as that of Porphyrius and other heathenish authors, 
who affirm that daemons are affected with smells, and with 
blood, &c. suppose them to have aereal bodies; so do 
some Talmudical and cabalistical writers; they hold that 
there are a middle sort of devils made of fire and air, who 
live upon the liquidity of the air and the smoke of lire, 

&c. These are called D^Hfc^. Minister, in his notes on 
Lev. xvii, does, out of K. Abraham, cite many passages to 
this purpose ; but such Jewish fables are so foolish as that 
they need no confutation. And as the argument we have 
mentioned is a sufficient refutation of them that imagine 
a natural vertue to be in herbs, whereby evil spirits are 
driven away ; so may it be improved against their supersti- 
tion, who suppose that fumes are of force to expel dsemons. 
The author of the book of Tobit, chap, vi, tells a tale that 
the heart and liver of a fish, if a smoke be made therewith, 
the devil will sniell it, and then be forced to flee away 
from any one that shall be troubled with an evil spirit ; 
and that Tobit following the counsel which Raphael gave 
him about these matters, the devil was fain to run for it 
as far as to the utmost parts of /Egypt, chap, viii, ver. 2, .>. 
This passage is so far from being divine as that indeed it 
is prophane and magical ; whereas the author saith, that 
whoever is troubled with an evil spirit shall by that means 
find relief ; he does expressly contradict the Son of God, 
who has taught otherwise, Matt, xvii, 21 ; Mark ix, 28. 
And his ascribing such vertue to the heart of a fish is as 
true as what Cornelius Agrippa saith, who affirms that the 
gall of a black dog will drive away evil spirits, and free 
from witchcrafts. And there is as much credit to be given 




CONSCIENCE. 179 

these things as to another Jewish fable, viz, that the 
<pping of a cocks wings will make the power of dsemon.s 
to become ineffectual ; yet that this fable hath obtained 
too much credit in the world is evident by words of 
Prudentius, who saith 

Ferunt vagantes Daemonas, 
Laetos tenebros nocfcium 
Gallo canente exterritos 
Sparsim timere et cedere. 

3. God, in his Holy Word, has forbidden his people to 
imitate the heathen nations. He requires that those who 
profess his Name should not learn the way of the heathen, 
nor do after their manners, Lev. xx, 23 ; Jer. x, 2. But 
to attempt the driving away of evil spirits by the use of 
herbs, fumes, &c. is an heathenish custom. Whoso shall 
read Proclus his book, de Sacrifieio et Magia, will see how 
the Ethnicks taught that smells and smokes would cause 
daemons to depart ; and the like they believed (and prac- 
tised accordingly) with respect unto several sorts of 
herbs. See Sennertus Med. Pract. 1. vi, part 9, cap. 7. 
Dioscorides, being deceived with the doctrine of that great 
magician, Pythagoras, saith, that the sea-onion being hung 
in the porch of an house will keep evil spirits from entring 
therein. In that book which passeth under the name of 
Albertus Magnus de Mirabilibus Mundi (though Picus 
Mirandula, in his disputation about magick, is so favour- 
able as to think Albertus was not the author of it, but that 
the true author has abusively prefixed Albertus hf^'name), 
there are many superstitious vanities of this nature, which, 
in times of Popish darkness, were received from the 
Arabians and other heathenish worshippers of the devil. 
It is true that the Jews did some of them practise this kind 



180 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

of inagick. Josephus (Antiq. lib. viii, cap. 2) confesseth, 
that those of their nation (in special, one whose name was 
Eleazar), did, by holding an herb (viz. that called " Solo- 
mon's seal") to the noses of deemoniacks, draw the devils 
out of them. He speaketh untruly in saying that they 
learned such nefarious arts from Solomon, for they had 
them from the heathen, who received them from the devil 
himself ; as is evident from another passage in the men- 
tioned Josephus. In his History of the Wars with the 
Jews. lib. vii, cap. 25, he says, that there is a root, by the 
Jews called baaras, which if a man pluck it up he dieth 
presently ; but to prevent that, they make bare the root, 
and then tye it with a string to a dog, who, going away 
to follow his master, easily plucks up the root, whereupon 
the dog dieth ; but his master may then, without danger 
handle the root, and thereby fright the devils out of persons 
possessed with infernal spirits ; whom he (in that also 
following the heathen) supposes to be the spirits of wicked 
men deceased. And that the Jews received these curious 
or rather cursed arts from Ethnics, is manifest, inasmuch 
as Pliny taught that the herb called Aglaophotis had 
power to raise the gods (so did they call the devils whom 
they served). Now that was the same herb with baaras; 
for as Delacampius, Rainold, and others have observed, 
both names have the same signification. So then the 
making use of herbs to fright away devils, or to preserve 
from the power of witches, is originally an heathenish 
custome, and, therefore, that which ought to be avoided 
and abhorred by those that call themselves Christians. 

It is no less superstitious when men endeavour by 
characters, words, or spells, to charm away witches, devils, 
or diseases. Such persons do (as Fuller speaks) fence 




CONSCIENCE. 181 

iselves with the devils shield against the devils sword. 
Agrippa, in his book, de Occulta Philosophia, has many 
of these impious curiosities. But in his book of The 
Vanity of Sciences, chap, xlviii, he acknowledged that he 
wrote his other book of Occult Philosophy when he was a 
young man, and bewails his iniquity therein, confessing 
that he had sinfully mispent precious time in those unpro- 
fitable studies. There is also an horrid book full of con- 
jurations and magical incantations, which the prophane 
author hath ventured to publish under the name of King 
Solomon. There cannot be a greater vanity than to imagine 
that devils are really frighted with words and syllables : 
such practices are likewise of diabolical and heathenish 
original. They that have read subjects of this nature are 
not ignorant of what is related concerning the strange 
things done by the incantations of that famous wizard, 
Apollonius. The like has been also noted of the Brack- 
manes of old, who were much given to such unlawful arts. 
It is still customary amongst the heathenish Africans, by 
incantations, to charm serpents ; which, when they are in 
that way brought to them by the devil, they use with the 
blood of such serpents to anoint their weapons, that so 
they may become the more mortiferous. And that the 
like incantations were practised among the Gentiles of old, 
is evident from that verse of Virgil in his 8th Eclog., 

Frigidus in pratis cantando rumpitur anguis. 
As also by that of Ovid in Metam. lib. vii, 

Viperias rurapi verbis et carmina fauces. 
Yea, the Holy Scriptures intimate, that such diabolical prac- 
tices were used by some in the dayes of old : those words 
of David, Psalm Iviii, 4, 5, imply no less, as our excellent 



182 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES 

Rainold has, with great learning and judgement, evinced. 
It must be acknowledged that the notion which many 
have from Austin taken up, as if serpents, to avoid the 
power of charms would lay one ear to the ground, and 
with their tails stop the other ear, is to be reckoned 
amongst vulgar errors ; nevertheless, that there were 
then charmers in the world, the mentioned (as well as 
other) scriptures notifie. Moreover, those inchanters had 
their formulae, whereby they did imprecate the persons 
whom they designed hurt unto ; and the devil (when the 
great and holy God saw meet to permit him) would, upon 
the using of those words, go to work and do strange 
things. Hence Livy speaks of the devotaria carmina used 
by wizards. The truth of this is also manifest from some 
passages in ^schines his Oration against Ctesiphon. And 
of this nature were Balaam's curses, desired by Baaiak, as 
enchantments against Jacob, Numb, xxii, 6, and xxiii, 23. 
If it had not been a thing famously known, that Balaam 
(a black wizard) did mischief others by his incantations, 
the king of Moab would never have sent to him for that 
end. And as witchcrafts of this kind were frequent among 
the Gentiles who knew not God, so, in a more especial 
manner, amongst the Ephesians, before they were enlight- 
ened by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Upon their con- 
version to the Christian faith, as many as had used curious 
(I.e. as the Syriac translation rightly interprets magical) 
arts, brought their books together, and burned them 
before all men, Acts xix, 1 9 ; which sheweth that Ephesus 
did once abound with these heathenish superstitions. 
They pretended that they could by certain words cure 
diseases, eject devils, &c. Hence, it became a proverbial 
phrase to say E<j>t<na ypa^aTa, when magical spells and 



CONSCIENCE. 183 

incantations were intended. Hesychius mentions some of 
those charms being obscure and barbarous words; such as 
aw, Kara K i, cu, rerpaZ, &c. These words they would 
sometimes carry about with them, fairly written; and 
then they were a sacrament for the devil to operate by. 
That insignificant word, Abrodacara, is by Sammonicus 
mentioned as a magical spell; which hobgoblin word the 
late miracle-monger or Mirabilarian stroaker in Ireland, 
Valentin Greatrix, attempted to cure an ague by, 
Porphyrius saith that the Egyptians had symbols which 
Serapis appointed them to use in order to the driving 
away daemons. Now, he whom the Egyptians called 
Serapis, is by the Greeks called Pluto, and by the Jews 
Belzebub ; and, as the heathen learned such things from 
Belzebub, so have the Papists (who are called Gentiles in 
the Scripture, Rev. xi, 2; and well they may be so, since 
as to all manner of idolatry and superstition they gentilize) 
from them learned to cure diseases, and drive away evil 
spirits by words and spells, exorcizations, &c. Matthiolus 
reports that he knew a man that would, and that without 
seeing the persons wounded, by charms heal those that 
were stung with deadly serpents; and Fernelius saith that 
he has seen some curing a leaver only by muttering words, 
without the use of any natural means. Not only pos- 
sessed heathen, but Papists, have, by reciting certain 
verses, been wont to cure other diseases; yea, they have 
practised to free persons from the epilepsie, by mentioning 
the names of the three kings of Colon (as the wise men 
which came from the East are usually called). Hence are 
those celebrated verses : 

Hsec tria qui secum portabit nomina regum 
Solvitur a morbo Christ! pietate caduco. 



184 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

It is too well known that Popish countries do still 
abound with such superstitious vanities as these men- 
tioned. And as Voetius (in his dissertation, de Exorcisino) 
truly tells them, the exorcizations of the Papists are as like 
those of the heathen as milk is like to milk, or as one egg 
is like to another. I know that some Popish authors (who 
are more ingenious) write against attempting the cure of 
diseases by words or charms. Fernelius, Benevenius, and 
(as I remember) Valesius, disapprove of it; but few (if 
any) of them are against conjuring away evil spirits by 
words, and I know not what formulae of their own, or 
rather of the devils inventing. One of them (viz. 
Hieronymus Mengus), having published a book filled with 
conjurations, entituleth it The Scourge of Devils. It adds 
to the abomination when men shall not only break the 
first and second commandment, but the third also, by 
making use of any of the sacred names or titles belonging 
to the glorious God, or to his Son Jesus Christ, as 
charms; then which nothing is more frequent amongst 
Romanists. To conclude, God in his word doth with the 
highest severity condemn all such practices, declaring not 
only that enchanters and charmers are not to be tolerated 
amongst his people, but that all who do such things are an 
.abomination to him, Pent, xviii, 10, 11, 12. The Jews 
are wont to be extreamly charitable towards those of their 
own nation, affirming, "That every Isrealite shall have a 
part in the world to come;" only they except such as 
shall by incantations heal diseases. There are some that 
practise such things in their simplicity, not knowing that 
therein they gratifie the devil. Voetius, in his disputation, 
de Magia, p. 576, speaks of one that, according to the 
vain conversation received by tradition from forefathers, 



CONSCIENCE. 185 

would sometimes attempt things of this nature ; but upon 
Voetius his instructing him concerning the sin and evil 
which was therein, the man durst never more do as 
formerly. If this discourse fall into the hands of any 
whose consciences tell them they have been guilty of the 
same iniquity, God grant that it may have the same effect 
on them. It is a marvelous and an amazing thing, that 
in such a place as New England, where the Gospel hath 
shined with great power and glory, any should be so 
blind as to make attempts of this kind ; yet some such I 
know there have been. A man in Boston gave to one a 
sealed paper as an effectual remedy against the tooth-ach, 
wherein were drawn several confused characters, and these 
words written, "In nomine Pair is, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, 
preserve thy servant (such an one)." Bodinus and others 
write of a convicted witch, whose name was Barbary 
Dore, that confessed she had often cured diseases by 
using the like words unto those mentioned. Not long 
since a man left with another in this town, as a rare 
secret, a cure for the ague, which was this : five letters 
viz. K , a. &c. were to be written successively on pieces of 
bread, and given to the patient ; on one piece he must 
write the word Kalendant, and so on another the next 
day ; and in five dayes (if he did believe) he should not 
fail of cure. These considerations have made me them<>iv 
willing a little to inlarge upon the argument in hand. 

But before I proceed to handle the next case it may imt 
be amiss to answer that which seems the most considerable 
allegation against the arguments thus far insisted on. It 
is then by some objected that musick driveth away evil 
spirits ; for when David took an harp and played with his 
hand the evil spirit departed from Saul, 1 Sarn. xvi, 23 ; 



186 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

so that it seems the devils are driven away by sounds, and 
why not then by words, or fumes, or herbs ? 

Ans. 1. It is confessed that Satan does take great 
advantage from the ill humors and diseases which are in 
the bodies of men, greatly to molest their spirits. Espe- 
cially it is true concerning melancholly, which has there- 
fore been called Balneum Diaboli the devils bath, 
wherein he delights to be stirring. 

2. When bodily diseases are removed by the use of 
natural means, the matter upon which the evil spirit was 
wont to operate being gone, he does no more disturb and 
disquiet the minds of men as before that he did. The 
passive disposition in the body ceasing, the active afflic- 
tion caused by the devil ceaseth also. Rulandus writes of 
possessed persons who were cured by emetic medicines, 
clearing them of those melancholly humors by means 
whereof the evil spirit had sometimes great advantages 
over them. This also Pomponatius does by many 
instances confirm. Sennertus likewise has divers passages 
to the same purpose. Also we see, by frequent expe- 
rience, persons strangely hurried by Satan, have, by the 
blessing of God upon the endeavour of the physitiah, been 
delivered from those woful molestations. Serrarius, 
Delrio, Burgensis, and others, commenting on 1 Sam. xvi, 
conceive that the ingress and egress of evil spirits depends 
upon the humors and dispositions of the body ; which 
assertion is not universally true ; for sometimes the devil 
hath laughed at the physitians, who have thought by 
medicinal applications to dispossess him. Examples for 
this may be seen in Fernelius and Codronchus ; wherefore 
Yoetius, in his disputation, de Emergumenis, p. 1025, 
speaketh cautiously and judiciously, in asserting that we 



CONSCIENCE. 187 

may not suppose that the devils taking bodily possession 
of this or that person depends wholly upon corporeal dis- 
positions ; nevertheless that natural distempers sometimes 
ai-ii an occasion thereof. 

3. It is also true that inusick is of great efficacy 
against melancholly discomposures. This notwithstand- 
ing, there is no reason to conclude with Mendozo, Bodin, 
and others, that inusick is so hateful to the devil, as that 
he is necessitated to depart when the pleasant sound is 
made. If that were so, how comes it to pass that 
appearing daemons do sometimes depart wii-li a melodious 
sound 1 or that in the conventicles of witches there is 
musick heard 1 But La Torr has notably confuted such 
imaginations. Indeed, the sweetness and delightfulness of 
musick has a natural power to lenisie melancholly passions. 
They say that Pythagoras by musick restored a frantick 
man to his wits again. Thus was Saul's pensive spirit 
refreshed by David's pleasant harp; and when he was 
refreshed arid well, the evil spirit, which took advantage 
of his former pensiveness, upon his alacrity departed from 
him. So that it remains still a truth, that corporeal 
things have no direct physical influence upon infernal 
spirits ; and that, therefore, for men to think that they 
shall drive away daemons by any such means is folly and 
superstition. I shall add no more in answer to the first 
queers proposed. 

A second case which we shall here take occasion to 
enquire into, is, Whether it be lawful for bewitched 
persons to draw blood from those whom they suspect for 
witches ; or, to put urin into a bottle, or, to nail an 
horse-shoe at their doors, or the like, in hopes of recover- 
ing health thereby ? 



188 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

Ans. There are several great authors who have disco- 
vered and declared the evil of all such practices. In 
special, Voetius, Sennertus, and our Perkins, disapprove 
thereof. There is another question, much what of the 
same nature with this, viz. Whether a bewitched person 
may lawfully cause any of the devils symbols to be 
removed, in order to gaining health? As, suppose an 
image of wax, in which needles are fixed, whereby the 
devil doth, at the instigation of his servants, torment the 
diseased person, whether this, being discovered, may be 
taken away, that so the devils power of operation may 
cease, and that the sick person may in that way obtain 
health again 1 The affirmative of this question is stiffly 
maintained by Scotus, Cajetan, Delrio, Malderus, and by 
Popish authors generally. Yet, amongst them, Hesselius, 
Estius, and Sanchez, hold the negative ; and so do all our 
Protestant writers, so far as I have had occasion to 
observe. And although some make light of such prac- 
tices, and others undertake to Justine them, yet it cannot 
justly be denied but that they are impious follies. 

For, 1. They that obtain health in this way have it 
from the devil. The witch cannot recover them but by 
the devils help. Hence, as it is unlawful to entreat 
witches to heal bewitched persons, because they cannot do 
this but by Satan, so is it very sinful by scratching, or 
burnings, or detention of urin, &c. to endeavour to 
constrain them to unbewitch any ; for this is to put them 
upon seeking to the devil. The witch does neither inflict 
nor remove the disease but by the assistance of the devil ; 
therefore, either to desire or force thereunto, is to make 
use of the devils help. The person thus recovered cannot 
say, " The Lord was my healer," but "The devil was my 




CONSCIENCE. 189 

healer." Certainly, it were better for a man to remain 
sick all his dayes, yea (as Chrysostom speaks), " He had 
better die than go to the devil for health." 

Hence, 2. Men and women have, by such practices as 
these mentioned, black commerce and communion with the 
devil. They do (though ignorantly) concern and involve 
themselves in that covenant which the devil has made 
with his devoted and accursed vassals ; for, whereas it is 
pleaded that if the thing bewitched be thrown into the fire 
or the urin of the sick stopped in a bottle, or an horse 
shoe nailed before the door, then, by vertue of the compact 
which is between the devil and his witches, their power of 
doing more hurt ceaseth. They that shall for such an end 
so practise, have fellowship with that hellish covenant. 
The excellent Sennertus argueth solidly in saying, " They 
that force another to do that which he cannot possibly do 
but by vertue of a compact with the devil, have themselves 
implicitly communion with the diabolical covenant." And 
so is the case here. Who was this art of unbewitching 
persons in such a way first learned of ? If due enquiry be 
made, it will be found that magicians and devils were the 
first discoverers. Porphyrie saith, it was by the revelation 
of the dsemons themselves that men came to know by what 
things they would be restrained from, and constrained to 
this or that: Euseb. Prayp. Evan. 1. v, c. 7; Dr. Willet 
in Ex. vii, quest. 9. To use any ceremonies invented by 
Satan, to attain a supernatural end, implies too great a 
concernment with him ; yea, such persons do honour and 
worship the devil, by hoping in his salvation. They use 
means to obtain health which is not natural, nor was ever 
appointed by God, but is wholly of the devils institution; 
which he is much pleased with, as being highly honoured 



190 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 






thereby; nay, such practices do imply an invocation of the 
devil for relief, and a pleading with him the covenant 
which he hath made with the witch, and a declaration of 
confidence that the father of lies will be as good as his 
word; for the nefandous language of such a practice is 
this: "Thou, devil, hast made a covenant with such an 
one, that if such a ceremony be used, thou wilt then cease 
to torment a poor creature that is now afflicted by thee. 
We have used that ceremony, and therefore now, O Satan, 
we expect that thou shouldest be as good as thy Avord, 
which thou hast covenanted with that servant of thine, 
and cease tormenting the creature that has been so af- 
flicted by thee." Should men in words speak thus, what 
horrid impiety were it ! Therefore, to do actions which 
import 110 less, is (whatever deluded souls think of it) 
great and heinous iniquity. 

3. Let such practitioners think the best of themselves, 
they are too near a kin to those creatures who commonly 
pass under the name of "white witches." They that do 
hurt to others by the devils help are called "black 
witches : " but there are a sort of persons in the world that 
will never hurt any; but only by the power of the infernal 
spirits they will tin-bewitch those that seek unto them for 
relief. I know that by Constantius his law, black witches 
were to be punished, and white ones indulged ; but M. 
Perkins saith, that the good witch is a more horrible and 
detestable monster than the bad one. Balaam was a black 
witch, and Simon Magus a white one. This later did more 
hurt by his cures than the former by his curses. How 
persons that shall un-bewitch others, by putting urin 
into a bottle, or by casting excrements into the fire, or 
nailing of horse-shoes at men's doors can wholly clear 



CONSCIENCE. 191 

themselves from being white witches I am not able to 
understand. 

4. Innocent persons have been extreamly wronged by 
such diabolical tricks ; for sometimes (as is manifest from 
the relation of the Groton maid, mentioned in the fifth 
chapter of this essay) the devil does not only himself inflict 
diseases upon men, but represent the visages of innocent 
persons to the phansies of the diseased, making them 
believe that they are tormented by them, when only 
himself does it ; and in case they follow the devils direc- 
tion, by observing the ceremonies which he has invented, 
he will inflict their bodies no more. So does his malice 
bring the persons accused by him (though never so inno- 
cent) into great suspicion ; and he will cease afflicting the 
body of one, in case he may ruin the credit of another, and 
withal endanger the souls of those that hearken to him. 

5. If the devil, upon scratchings, or burnings, or 
stoppings of urin, or the nailing of an horse-shoe, &c. shalf 
cease to afflict the body of any, he does this either as being 
compelled thereto, or voluntarily. To imagine that such 
things shall constrain the evil spirit to cease afflicting, 
whether he will or no, is against all reason ; but if he does 
this voluntarily, then, instead of hurting their bodies, he 
does a greater mischief to souls : exfyw aSupa dupa. 
The devil heals the body that he may wound the soul; he 
will heal them with all his heart, provided that he may but 
thereby draw men to look unto him for help, instead of 
seeking unto God alone, in the use of his own means, and 
so receive that honour (the thing that he aspires after) 
which is the Lords due. How gladly will that wicked 
spirit heal one body, upon condition that he may entangle 
many souls with superstition ! and if men and women 






192 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

(especially in places of light) will hearken to him, it is a 
righteous thing with God to suffer it to be thus. It is 
past doubt that Satan, who has the power of death, Heb. 
ii, 14, has also (by Divine permission) power to inflict, and 
consequently to remove, diseases from the bodies of men. 
In natural diseases he has many times a great operation, 
and is willing to have them cured rather by the use of 
superstitious than of natural means. It is noted in the 
Germanic Ephe?neris, for the year 1675, that a man trou- 
bled with a fistula, which the physitians by all their art 
could no way relieve, a person that was esteemed a wizard 
undertook to cure him ; and applying a powder to the 
wound, within a few dayes the sick party recovered. The 
powder was some of the ashes of a certain woman who had 
been burnt to death for a witch. This was not altogether 
so horrid as that which is by authors worthy of credit re- 
ported to have come to pass in the days of Pope Adrian VI ; 
when, the plague raging in Koine, a magician (whose 
name was Demetrius Spartan) caused it to be stayed by 
sacrificing a bull to the devil. See P. Jovius Histoy. 
lib. xxi. Such power hath the righteous God given unto 
Satan over the sinful children of men ; yea, such a ruler 
hath he set over them as a just punishment for all their 
Avickedness. His chief design is to improve that power 
which, by reason of sin, he hath obtained to seduce into 
more sin ; and the Holy God, to punish the world for 
iniquity, often suffers the enemy to obtain his desire this 
way. What strange things have been done, and how have 
diseases been healed, by the sign of the cross many times, 
by which means Satans design in advancing staurolatry to 
the destruction of thousands of souls, has too successfully 
taken place ! And this iniquity did he early and gradually 



CONSCIENCE. 19$ 



194 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

The same method has the grand enemy observed, that so 
he might bring that superstition of iconolatry or image 
worship, which is so provoking to the jealous God, into 
repute amongst Christians. It would be endless to enu- 
merate how many in Popish countries have been cured of 
diseases, which for their sins God hath suffered the devil 
to punish them with, by touching the image of this or that 
saint; 'nay, some whose bodies have been possessed with 
evil spirits, have in that way of superstition found relief ; 
in a more especial manner, when the image of the Virgin 
Mary hath been presented before persons possessed, the 
devil in them hath cried out and shrieked after a fearful 
manner, as if he had been put to horrible torture at the 
sight of that image, and so hath seemed to depart out of 
the miserable creature molested by him ; and all this that 
so deluded Papists might be hardened in their supersti- 
tious opinion of that image. Many such devices hath 
Satan to ensnare and ruin the souls of men. Some report 
that the bodies of excommunicates in the Greek churches 
at this day are strangely handled by the devil after death 
hath taken hold of them. M. Bleaut, in his relation of 
the present state of the Greek Churches, page 279, & 
saith that a grave Kaloir told him that, to his own certain 
knowledge, a person who fell under their church-censure, 
after he had been for some time buried, the people where 
his corps lay interred were affrighted with strange appari- 
tions, which they concluded arose from the grave of the 
accursed excommunicate, which thereupon was opened, 
and they found the body uncorrupted, and replete with 
blood, the coffin furnished with grapes, nuts, &c. brought 
thither by infernal spirits. The Kaloirs resolved to use 
the common remedy in those cases, viz. to cut the body in 



CONSCIENCE. 195 

several parts, and to boyl it in wine, as the approved 
means to dislodge the evil spirit ; but his friends intreated 
rather that the sentence of excommunication might be 
reversed, which was granted. In the mean time prayers 
and masses and offerings were presented for the dead ; 
and whilst they were performing these services, on a 
sudden was heard a rumbling noise in the coffin of the 
dead party ; which being opened, they found the body 
consumed and dissolved into dust, as if it had been 
interred seven years. The hour and minute of this dissolu- 
tion being compared with the date of the patriarchs release 
when signed at Constantinople, was found exactly to agree 
with that moment. If there be truth in this relation, 'tis 
a dreadful evidence of Satans reigning amongst a supersti- 
tious people, who nevertheless, call themselves Christians ; 
and that he does by such means as these keep them under 
chains of darkness still. The devil hath played such reax 
as these are, not only amongst Christians, but amongst the 
Gentiles of old for Titus Latinus was warned in his sleep 
that he should declare unto the senate that they must 
reniew their stage plays. He neglecting to deliver his 
message, was again by the same daemon spoken unto in his 
sleep, and severely reproved for his omission, and his son 
died. Still persisting in his omission, the daemon again 
cometh to him, so that he was surprized with an acute 
and horrible disease. Hereupon, by counsel of his friends, 
he was carried in his bed into the senate ; and as soon as 
he had declared what he had seen, his health was restored, 
that he returned home upon his feet. The issue was, 
stage plays were more in fashion than ever before. 
Augustin, de Civitate Dei, lib. iv, cap. 26. Learned men 
are not ignorant that strange cures were effected amongst 

13a 



196 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

the heathen by the use of talismans or images ; of which 
inventions, Zoroaster (the father of magicians) is supposed 
to be the first author. It is reported that Virgil made a 
brazen fly, and a golden horse-leach, whereby flies were 
hindred from coming into Naples, and the horse-leaches 
were all killed in a ditch. Thus doth Beelzebub draw 
miserable men into superstition. 

And although 1 am upon a serious subject, and my 
design in writing these things is, that so I might bear 
witness against the superstition which some in this land of 
light have been found guilty of, and that (if God shall 
bless what has been spoken to convince men of the error 
of their way) the like evils may no more be heard of 
amongst us ; this notwithstanding it may not be improper 
here to recite some facetious passages which I have met 
with in Hemniingius his discourse de Superstitions Magica, 
since they are to my present purpose, as discovering what 
delight the infernal spirits take in drawing men to make 
use of superstitious means for the recovery of health unto 
their bodies. The learned author mentioned reports, that 
as he was instructing his pupils in the art of L >gic, he had 
occasion to recite a couple of verses consisting of nine 
hobgoblin words, fecana, cajeti, daphenes, &c. adding, by 
way of joke, that those verses would cure a feaver, if every 
day a piece of bread were given to the sick person with 
one of these words written upon it. A simple fellow that 
stood by thought Heinmiiigius had been in earnest in what 
he spoke ; and not long after, having a servant that fell sick 
of a feaver, he gave him the first day a bit of bread, with 
a paper wherein fecana was written, and so on for six 
dayes until he came to the word gebali ; and then, on a 
sudden, his servant was well again. Others seeing the 



CONSCIENCE. 197 

efficacy of the amulet, did the like, and many were cured 
of feavers thereby. 

In the same chapter, page 908, Henirningius writeth of 
a knavish scholar, that a certain women repairing to him 
for help, who was exceedingly troubled with sore eyes, pro- 
mising him a good reward for his cure, the knave, though 
he had no skill, yet for lucre sake, he promised to effect a 
cure; and, in order thereto, taketh a piece of paper, and 
maketh therein characters, unto which he never saw the 
like before, only then devised them, and writeth in great 
letters these abominable words : Diabolus eruat tibi oculos, 

foramina stercorilus impleat. (The Papists say that 
their Saint Francis caused the devil to depart out of a 
possessed person by using an alike brutish expression.) 
He folded up the paper in a cloth, requiring the diseased 
party to wear it about her neck ; which she did, and her 
disease was healed. After two years, being desirous to 
know what was in the paper, she caused it to be opened 
and read; and being greatly offended and inraged at this 
indignity, cast the paper away, immediately upon which 
her sore eyes returned again. Without doubt, then, the 
devils design in this cure was to encourage the prophane 
impostor to endeavour the removal of diseases by like su- 
perstitious and wicked practices, whereby his own and the 
souls of others, unto whom he should impart the mystery, 
would be endangered. The like is to be affirmed concern- 
ing attempts to heal diseases by scratching suspected 
witches, or stopping urin in bottles, nailing of horse-shoes, 
&c. It may be the time will come when they that have 
been thus foolish will feel their own consciences smiting 
them for what they have done. Let them remember 
the example of that gracious and famous gentlewoman, 



1 98 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

Mrs. Honey wood; the occasion of whose sorrowful and 
doleful desertion was, in that having a child sick, she 
asked counsel of a wizard about its recovery. Certainly 
it is better for persons to repent of sin, the procuring 
cause of all affliction, and by the prayer of faith to betake 
themselves to the Lord Jesus, the great Physitian both of 
body and soul; and so to wait for healing in the use of 
lawful means, until God shall see meet to bestow that 
mercy on them; I say this is better than to follow such 
dark methods as those declared against, wherein, if they 
have found any success, they may fear it is in wrathful 
judgment unto them or theirs. Some observe, that persons 
who receive present healing in such unlawful wayes, usually 
come to unhappy ends at last. Let me, then, conclude the 
answer unto the case propounded with the words which 
the angel bid the prophet Elijah speak to Ahaziah's mes- 
sengers, 2 Kings i, 3, " Is it because there is no God in 
Israel that you go to Baalzebub the god of EkronT' 

There is another case of conscience which may here be 
enquired into, viz. "Whether it be lawful to bind persons 
suspected for witches, and so cast them into the water, in 
order to making a discovery of their innocency or guilti- 
ness ; so that if they keep above the water, they shall 
be deemed as confederate with the devil ; but if they 
sink they are to be acquitted from the crime of witch- 
craft?" As for this way of purgation, it cannot be denied 
but that some learned men have indulged it. King James 
approveth of it in his Discourse of Witchcraft, b. iii, ch. 6, 
supposing that the water refuseth to receive witches into 
its bosom, because they have perfidiously violated their 
covenant with God, confirmed by water in baptism. 
Kornmannus and Scribonius do, upon the same ground, 



CONSCIENCE. 199 

Justine this way of tryal. But a worthy casuist of our 
own giveth a judicious reply to this supposal, viz. that all 
water is not the water of baptism, but that only which is 
used in the very act of baptism. Moreover, according to 
this notion the prola would serve only for such persons 
as have been baptized. Wierus and Bodinus have written 
against this experiment ; so hath Heinmingius, who saith 
that it is both superstitious and ridiculous. Likewise 
that learned physitian, John Heurnius, has published a 
treatise, which he calls, Responsum ad supremam curt'am 
Hollandiw, nullum esse cequce innatationem lamiarum 
indicium : that book I have not seen, but I find it men- 
tioned in Meursius his Athence Batavoe. Amongst English 
authors, Dr. Gotta hath endeavoured to shew the unlaw- 
fulness of using such a practice; also, Mr. Perkins is so 
far from approving by this probation by cold water, as that 
he rather inclines to think that the persons who put it in 
practice are themselves, after a sort, practisers of witch- 
craft. That most learned, judicious, and holy man, Gis- 
bertus Voetius, in his forementioned exercitation de Magia, 
p. 573, endeavours to evince that the custom of trying 
witches by casting them into the water is unlawful, a 
tempting of God, and indirect magic. And that it is 
utterly unlawful I am by the following reasons convinced : 
1. This practice has no foundation in nature, nor in 
Scripture. If the water will bear none but witehes, this 
must needs proceed either from some natural or some 
supernatural cause. No natural cause is, or can be, 
assigned why the bodies of such persons should swim 
rather than of any other. The bodies of witches have not 
lost their natural properties : they have weight in them as 
well as others. Moral changes and viciousness of mind 



200 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

make no alteration as to these natural proprieties which 
are inseparable from the body. Whereas some pretend 
that the bodies of witches are possessed with the devil, 
and are on that account uncapable of sinking under the 
water. Malderus his reply is rational, viz. that the allega- 
tion has 110 solidity in it, witness the Gadarens hoggs, 
which were no sooner posssessed with the devil but they 
ran into the water and there perished. But if the expe- 
riment be supernatural, it must either be divine or diabo- 
lical. It is not divine, for the Scripture does no where 
appoint any such course to be taken to find out whether 
persons are in league with the devil or no. It remains, 
then, that the experiment is diabolical. If it be said that 
the devil has made a compact with wizards, that they 
shall not be drowned, and by that means that covenant 
is discovered, the reply is, we may not in the least build 
upon the devils word. By this objection, the matter is 
ultimately resolved into a diabolical faith. And shall 
that cast the scale when the lives of men are concerned ? 
Suppose the devil saith, these persons are witches, must 
the judge, therefore, condemn them ? 

2. Experience hath proved this to be a fallacious way 
of trying witches, therefore it ought not to be practised. 
Thereby guilty persons may happen to be acquitted, and 
the innocent to be condemned. The devil may have power 
to cause supernatation on the water in a person that never 
made any compact with him ; and many times known 
and convicted wizards have sunk under the water when 
thrown thereon. In the Bohemian History mention is 
made of several witches, who being tried by cold water, 
were as much subject to submersion as any other persons. 
Delrio reports the like of another witch. And Godel- 



CONSCIENCE. 201 

niannus speaks of six witches in whom this way of trial 
failed. Malderus saith, it has been known that the vory 
same persons being often brought to this probation by 
water, did at one time swim and another time sink ; and 
this difference has sometimes hapnecl according to the 
different persons making the experiment upon them ; in 
which respect one might with greater reason conclude that 
the persons who used the experiment were witches, then 
that the persons tried were so. 

3. This way of purgation is to be accounted of, like, 
other provocations or appeals to the judgement of God, 
invented by men; such as camp-fight, explorations by 
hot water, &c. In former times it hath been customary 
(and I suppose tis so still among the Norwegians) that 
the suspected party was to put his hand into scalding- 
water, and if he received no hurt thereby then was he 
reputed innocent ; but if otherwise, judged as guilty. 
Also, the trial by fire ordeal has been used in our nation 
in times of darkness. Thus Emma, the mother of King 
Edward the Confessor, was led barefoot and blindfold 
over certain hot irons, and not hapning to touch any of 
them, was judged innocent of the crime which some sus- 
pected her as guilty of. And Kunegund, wife to the 
Emperour Henry 11, being accused of adultery, to clear 
herself, did in a great and honourable assembly take up 
seven glowing irons one after another with her barelumd, 
and had no harm thereby. These bloody kind of ex- 
periments are now generally banished out of the world 
It is pity the ordeal by cold water is not exploded with 
the other. 

4. This vulgar probation (as it useth to be called) was 
first taken up in times of superstition, being (as before 



202 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

was hinted of other magical impostures) propagated from 
Pagans to Papists, who would (as may be gathered from 
Bernards 66 Serm. in Cantica) sometimes bring those 
that were under suspicion for heresie unto their purgation 
in this way. We know that our ancestors, the old Pagan 
Saxons, had amongst them four sorts of ordeal (i.e., trial 
or judgement, as the Saxon word signifies), whereby, when 
sufficient proof was wanting, they sought (according as 
the prince of darkness had instructed them) to find out 
the truth concerning suspected persons, one of which 
ordeals was this, the persons surmised to be guilty, having 
cords tied under their arms, were thrown with it into 
some river, to see whether they would sink or swim : so 
that this probation was not originally confined to witches, 
but others supposed to be criminals were thus to be tried ; 
but in some countries they thought meet thus to examine 
none but those who have been suspected for familiarity 
with the devil. That this custom was in its first rise 
superstitious, is evident from the ceremonies of old used 
about it. For the proba is not canonical, except the 
person be cast into the water with his right hand tied to 
his left foot. Also, by the principle which some approvers 
of this experiment alledge to confirm their fansies, their 
principle is, Nihil quod per necromantian fit, potest in 
aqua fallere aspectum intuentium. Hence William of 
Malmsbury, lib. ii, p. 67, tells a fabulous story (though he 
relates it not as such) of a traveller in Italy that was by a 
witch transformed into an asse, but retaining his humane 
understanding, would do such feats of activity as one that 
had no more wit than an asse could not do ; so that he 
was sold for a great price ; but breaking his halter, he ran 
into the water, and thence was instantly unbe witched, and 



CONSCIENCE. 203 

turned into a man again. This is as true as Lucian's 
relation about his own being by witchcraft transformed 
into an asse ; and I suppose both are as true as that cold 
water will discover who are witches. It is to be lamented 
that Protestants should in these dayes of light either 
practise or plead for so superstitious an invention, since 
Papists themselves have of later times been ashamed of it. 
Yerstegan in his Antiquities, lib. iii. p. 53, speaking of the 
trials by ordeal, and of this by cold water in particular, 
has these words : " These aforesaid kinds of ordeals the 
Saxons long after their Christianity continued ; but seeing 
they had their beginnings in paganism, and were not 
thought fit to be continued amongst Christians, at the 
last, by a decree of Pope Stephen II, they were abolished." 
Thus he. Yea, this kind of trial by water was put down 
in Paris A.D. 1594, by the supream court there. Some 
learned papists have ingenuously acknowledged that such 
probations are superstitous. It is confessed that they 
are so by Tyraeus, Binsfeldius, Delrio, and by Malderus 
de Magia, tract x, cap 8, dub. 11, who saith that they 
who shall practise this superstition, and pass a judgement 
of death upon any persons on this account, will (without 
repentance) be found guilty of murder before God. 

It was in my thoughts to have handled some other 
cases of the like nature with these insisted on ; but upon 
further consideration, I suppose it less needful, the prac- 
tices which have given occasion for them being so grosly 
superstitious, as that they are ashamed to show their 
heads openly. The Chaldaeans, and other magicians 
amongst the heathen nations of old, practised a sort of 
divination by sieves (which kind of magic is called 
coscinomantia). The like superstition has been frequent 



204 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

in Popish countries, where they have been wont to utter 
some words of Scripture and the names of certain saints 
over a sieve, that so they niij>ht by the motion thereof 
know where something stollen or lost was to be found. 
Some also have believed that if they should cast lead into 
the water, then Saturn would discover to them the thing 
they enquired after. It is not Saturn but Satan that 
maketh the discovery, when any thing is in such a way 
revealed. And of this sort is the foolish sorcery of those 
women that put the white of an egg into a glass of water, 
that so they may be able to divine of what occupation 
their future husbands shall be. It were much better to 
remain ignorant than thus to consult with the devil. 
These kind of practices appear at first blush to be dia- 
bolical, so that I shall not multiply words in evincing 
the evil of them. It is noted that the children of Israel 
did secretly those things that are not right against the 
Lord their God, 2 Kings xvii, 9. I am told that there 
are some who secretly practice such abominations as these 
last mentioned, unto whom the Lord in mercy give deep 
and unfeigned repentance and pardon for their grievous 
sin. 



CHAPTER IX. 

DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS. 

A strange relation of a woman in Weymouth in New England that has been 
dumb and deaf ever since she was three years old, who, nevertheless, 
has a competent knowledge in the mysteries of religion, and is admitted 
to the sacrament. Some parallel instances. Of wayes to teach those 
that are naturally deaf and dumb to speak. Another relation of a man 
in Hull in New England, under whose tongue a stone bred. Concerning 
that petrifaction which humane bodies are subject unto. That plants 
and diverse sorts of animals have sometimes bred in the bodies of men. 

;AYING dispatched the disgression which the 
things related in some of the preceding 
chapters did necessarily lead us into, I now 
proceed in commemorating some other remark- 
ables, which it is pity but that posterity should have the 
knowledge of. I shall in this chapter only take notice of 
two particulars amongst ourselves, with some parallel 
instances which have hapned in other parts of the world. 
I am informed that there is now at Weymouth in New 
England a man and his wife who are both of them deaf, 
that the woman had been so from her infancy; and 
yet she understands as much concerning the state of 
the countrey, and of particular persons therein, and of ob- 
servable occurrences, as almost any one of her sex ; and 
(which is more wonderful), though she is not able to speak 
a word, she has by signs made it appear that she is not 

i05 




206 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

ignorant of Adam's fall, nor of man's misery by nature, 
nor of redemption by Christ, and the great concernments 
of eternity, and of another world, and that she herself has 
had experience of a work of conversion in her own soul. 
I have made enquiry about this matter of some that are 
fully acquainted therewith, and have from a good hand 
received this following account : " Matthew Prat, aged 
about fifty-five years, was in his minority by his godly 
parents educated religiously, and taught to read. "When 
he was about twelve years old, he became totally deaf by 
sickness, and so hath ever since continued. After the loss 
of his hearing he was taught to write. His reading and 
writing he retaineth perfectly, and makes much good 
improvement of both ; but his speech is very broken and 
imperfect, not easily intelligible ; he rnaketh use of it more 
seldom, only to some few that are wonted to it ; he dis- 
courseth most by signs, and by writing. He is studious 
and judicious in matters of religion ; hath been in church- 
fellowship, a partaker of all ordinances near thirty years ; 
hath approved himself unto good satisfaction therein, 
in all wayes of church communion, both in publick and 
private, and judged to be a well- wrought convert and real 
Christian. Sarah Prat, his wife, being about forty-three 
years old, was also quite deprived of hearing by sickness, 
when about the third year of her age, after she could 
speak, and had begun to learn letters ; having quite lost 
hearing, she lost all speech (doubtless all remembrance 
and understanding of words and language) ; her religious 
parents being both dead, her godly brother, Ephraim 
Hunt (yet surviving), took a fatherly care of her ; she also 
happily fell under the guardianship and tuition of the 
Reverend Mr. Thomas Thacher, who laboured with design 



DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS. 207 

to teach her to understand speech or language by writing, 
but it was never observed that any thing was really 
effected ; she hath a notable accuracy and quickness of 
understanding by the eye ; she discourseth altogether by 
signs; they that are able to discourse with her in that way 
will communicate any matter much more speedily (and as 
full) as can be by speech, and she to them. Her children 
sign from the breast, and learn to speak by their eyes and 
fingers sooner than by their tongues. She was from her 
childhood naturally sober, and susceptible of good civil 
education, but had no knowledge of a Deity, or of any 
thing that doth concern another life and world ; yet God 
hath of his infinite mercy revealed Himself, his Son, and 
the great mysteries of salvation, unto her by an extraordi- 
nary and more immoderate working of his spirit (as tis 
believed), in a saving work of conversion. An account of 
her experiences was taken from her in writing by her 
husband ; upon which she was examined by the elders of 
the church, they improving her husband and two of her 
sisters, intellectual persons, and notably skilFd in her artifi- 
cial language, by whose help they attained good satisfac- 
tion that she understandeth all the principles of religion : 
those of the unity of the divine essence, trinity of 
persons, the personal union, the mystical union, they made 
most diligent enquiry about, and were satisfied that her 
knowledge and experience was distinct and sound, and 
they hoped saving. She was under great exercise of 
spirit, and most affectionately concerned for and about her 
soul, her spiritual and eternal estate ; she imparted herself 
to her friends, and expressed her desire of help; she made 
use of the Bible and other good books, and remark t such 
places and passages as suited her condition, and that with 



208 REMARKABLE PRO VIDENCES. 

tears. She did once in her exercise write with a pin upon 
a trencher three times over, 'Ah, poor soul!' and there- 
withal burst forth into tears before divers of her friends. 
She hath been wont to enquire after the text, and when 
it hath been shewed to her, to look and muse upon it 
she knoweth most, if not all, persons names that she hath 
acquaintance with ; if Scripture names, will readily turn 
and point to them in the Bible. It may be conceived, 
that although she understands neither words, letters, nor 
language, yet she understands things hierogiyphically; the 
letters and words are unto her but signs of the things, 
and as it were hieroglyphicks. She was very desirous oJ 
church communion in all ordinances, and was admittec 
with general and good satisfaction, and hath approved 
herself to the best observation a grave and gracious wo- 
man. They both attend publick worship with much reve- 
rence and constancy, and are very inoffensive, and (in 
divers respects) exemplary in their conversation." Thus 
far is that narrative, written June 27, 1683. 

I suppose no one that rightly considers the circum- 
stances of this relation will make a scruple about the law- 
fulness of admitting such persons to participate in the 
holy mysteries of Christ's kingdom. All judicious casuists 
determine, that those who were either born, or by anj 
accident made, deaf and dumb, if their conversation be 
blameless, and they able by signs (which are analogous tc 
verbal expressions) to declare their knowledge and faith 
may as freely be received to the Lords supper as any thai 
shall orally make the like profession. Of this judgemen 
was Luther, and Melancthon in Consil. part i, page 268 
Gerhard Loc. Com. torn. v. Thess. 226; Alting, LOG. Com 
part i, page 90 ; Voetius Disp. Select, part ii, in Appendix 



DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS. 209 

le Surdis. Balduinus, in his Cases of Conscience, lib. ii, 
3. 12, does confirm this, by producing several instances 
of dumb persons admitted to the communion. It is cer- 
tain that some such have been made to understand the 
mysteries of the Gospel, so as to suffer martyrdome on that 
account. 

In the year 1620, one that was deaf and dumb, being- 
solicited by the Papists to be present at masse, chose 
rather to suffer death. It is also a thing known, that men 
are able by signs to discourse, and to communicate their 
sentiments one to another. There are above thirty mutes 
sept in the Ottoman court for the Grand Seignior to sport 
with ; concerning whom, Mr. Ricaut, in his History of the 
Present State of the Ottoman Empire (p. 62) reports that 
,hey are able by signs not only to signifie their sence in 
:amiliar questions, but recount stories, and understand 
the fables of the Turkish religion, the laws and precepts of 
;he Alcoran, the name of Mahomet, and what else may be 
capable of being expressed by the tongue. This language 
f the mutes is so much in fashion in the Ottoman court, 
chat almost every one can deliver his sense in it. And 
uhat deaf persons have been sometimes able to write, and 
to understand what others say to them by the very motion 
>f their lips is most certain. Camerarius tells us of a 
young man and a maid, then living at Noremberg, who, 
though deaf and dumb, could read and write and cypher, 
md by the motion of a mans lips knew his meaning.. 
Platerus speaketh of one deaf and dumb born, that yet. 
sould express his mind in a table-book, and understood 
what others wrote therein ; and was wont to attend upon, 
bhe ministry of Oecolampadius, understanding many things. 
by the motion of the lips of the preacher. Mr. Clark, in. 

14 



210 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

his Examples (vol. i, chap. 33), saith, that there was a 
woman in Edinburgh in Scotland (her name was Gennet 
Lowes), who being naturally deaf and dumb, could under- 
stand what people said meerly by the moving of their 
lips. It is famously known, that Mr. Crisp of London 
could do the like. Borellus giveth an account of one that 
lost his hearing by a violent disease when he was five years 
old, yet if they did but whisper to him, he could by theii 
lips perceive what they said. There is one now living (01 
that not many years since was so) in Silesia, in whom that 
disease of the small-pox caused a total deafness, who, 
nevertheless, by exact observing the motion of mens lips, 
can understand what they say ; and if they do but whisper, 
he perceives what they say better than if they vociferate' 
never so loudly ; he attends upon publick sermons, being 
able to give an account of what is delivered, provided he 
may but see the preacher speaking, though he cannot heai 
a word. It is consistent with reason that mutes shouk 
understand what others say by the motion of their lips.] 
since it is evident that the lips are of great use in framing 
speech. Hence Job calls his speech, " the moving of hi*] 
lips," chap, xvi, ver. 5 ; and we know that tonguelesf! 
persons, by the help of their lips and other organs oi 
speech, have been able to speak. Ecclesiastical story 
.informs us of several confessors of the truth, who aftei 
Their tongues were cut out by bloody persecutors, coula 
still bear witness to the truth. Honorichus (that cruel 
king of the Vandals) caused the tongues of many to be 
violently pluckt out of their mouths, who after that could 
speak as formerly ; only two of them, when they became 
guilty of the sin of uncleanness, were able to speak nq 
more. This has been attested by three credible witnesse 




DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS. 211 



who knew the persons : see Mr. Baxter's Church History, 
p. 130. There is lately published (in Latin) a very strange 
relation of a child in France (his name was Peter Durand) 
who being visited with the small-pox when he was about 
six years old, his tongue putrified, and was quite consumed ; 
after which (the uvula in his mouth being longer than it 
was before) he could, by the help of the other organs of 
speech, discourse as plainly as if he had never lost his 
tongue. These things are marveilous : and yet I have 
lately met with a passage more strange than any of these 
related. There is (or was in the year 1G79) living, near 
Kerchem in Germany, a man (his name is John Algair) 
who suddenly lost the use of his speech : the case has been 
so with him, that fourteen years together he can never 
speak but one hour of the day; just -as the sun cometh 
to the meridian, he has the liberty of his speech for an hour 
and no more, so that he knoweth exactly when it is twelve 
a clock, because then he can speak, and not a minute before 
that, nor a minute after one. This is related in the 
Germanic EpJiemerides of Miscellaneous Curiosities for 
the year 1679 (observat. 188). It is evident that the 
sun has a marvelous influence as to some diseases which 
the bodies of men are subject unto ; for in Egypt, though 
the plague rage the day before, on that very day when the 
sun enters into Leo it ceaseth, when also the floods of 
Nilus abate, as geographers inform us. 

Moreover, it is possible by art to teach those that are 
by nature deaf and dumb to speak. The Dactylogy of 
Beda is pretty, whereby men speak as nimbly with the 
fingers as with the tongue ; taking five fingers of the one 
hand for vowels, and the several positions of the other for 
consonants. But that deaf persons may learn to speak 

Ha 



212 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 






happy experience hath proved, and that by many instances. 
A. Castro has given an account of the method by him suc- 
cessfully observed in teaching a boy to speak that was 
born deaf. After the use of some purgative medicines, he 
caused the hair to be shaven off from his head, over the 
coronal suture, and then frequently anointed the shaven 
place with a mixture of aqua vitce, saltpeter, oyl of Utter 
almonds, &c. Having done this, he began to speak to the 
deaf person (not at his ear, but) at his coronal suture ; and 
there, after the use of unctions and emunctions, the sound 
would pierce, when at his ears it could not enter ; so did he 
by degrees teach him to speak. ( Vide Ephem. German. 
anno 1670, observat. 35.) But others have, with good 
effect, followed another kind of method. There was a 
Spanish nobleman (brother to the constable of Castile), 
who being born deaf, and consequently dumb, from his 
infancy, physitians had long in vain tried experiments for 
his relief. At last a certain priest undertook to teach 
him to speak. His attempt was at first laughed at ; but 
within a while the gentleman was able (notwithstanding 
has deafness still remained) to converse and discourse with 
any friend. He was taught to speak by putting a cord 
about his neck, and straitning or losening the same, to 
advertise him when to open or shut his mouth, by the 
example of his teacher. Nor was there any difference 
found between his speech and that of other men, only that 
he did not regulate his voice, speaking commonly too high. 
(Fid. Conferences of Virtuosi, p. 215). JSTot long since, 
Fran. Mercur. Helmont, designing to teach a deaf man 
to speak, concluded it would be more easily practicable if 
the experiment were made with an eastern wide-mouthed 
language, which does remarkably expose to the eye the 



DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS. 213 

motions of the lips, tongue, and throat. Accordingly he 
tried with the Hebrew tongue, and in a short time his 
dumb schollar became an excellent Hebrician. Others 
have lately been as successful in their attempts to cause 
deaf persons to speak and understand the European lan- 
guages. We need not go out of our own nation, for there 
we find living instances. In the Philosophical Transac- 
tions for the year 1670, numb. 61, an account is given con- 
cerning Mr. Daniel Whaley, of Northampton, in Eng- 
land, who, by an accident, lost his hearing when he was 
about five years of age, and so his speech, not at once, but 
by degrees in about half a years time. In the year 1661, 
the learned and ingenious Dr. Wallis, of Oxford, under- 
took to teach the deaf gentleman to speak and write. Nor 
did the doctor fail in attaining his end ; for in the space 
of one year the dumb man had read over great part of 
the English Bible, and had attained so much skill as to 
express himself intelligibly in ordinary affairs, to under- 
stand letters written to him, and to write answers to them. 
And when foreigners, out of curiosity, came to visit him, 
he was able to pronounce the most difficult words of their 
language (even Polish itself) which any could propose 
unto him. Nor was this the only person on whom the 
doctor showed his skill, but he has since done the like for 
another (a gentleman of very good family), who did from 
his birth want his hearing. Likewise, Dr. Holder, in his 
late book about the natural production of letters, giveth 
rules for the teaching of the deaf and dumb to speak. 

I have the rather mentioned these things, for that there 
are several others in this countrey who are deaf and dumb, 
when, as if they had an ingenious instructor, I am abund- 
antly satisfied that they might be taught to speak, their 



214 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

deafness notwithstanding. Nor is this more difficult than 
it is to learn those that are blind to write ; which, though 
some may think it impossible and incredible, there is (or, 
at least, three years ago there was) a living instance to 
convince them; for, in the Weekly Memorials for the 
Ingenious, lately published at London (in page 80), I find 
an observable passage, which I shall here cause to be 
transcribed and inserted, from the Journal des Scavans, 
set forth March 25, 1680 : 

An Extract of a Letter written from Lyons, ~by M. Spon, 
M.D.j &c., concerning a remarkable Particular. 

"Esther Elizabeth van Waldkirk, daughter of a mer- 
chant of Shaff hausen, residing at Geneva, aged at pre- 
sent nineteen years, having been blind from two moneths 
old, by a distemper falling on her eyes, nevertheless 
hath been put on to the study of learning by her father, 
so that she understands perfectly, French, High-Dutch, 
and Latin ; she speaks ordinarily Latin with her father, 
French with her mother, and High-Dutch with the people 
of that nation; she hath almost the whole Bible by heart, 
is well skill'd in philosophy, plays on the organs and 
violin, and, which is wonderful in this condition, she hath 
learned to write, by an invention of her fathers, after this 
manner : 

"There was cut for her upon a board, all the letters of 
the alphabet, so deep as to feel the figures with her fingers, 
and to follow the traces with a pencil, till that she had 
accustomed herself to make the characters. Afterwards 
they made for her a frame, which holds fast her paper 
when she will write, and which guides her hand to make 
straight lines ; she writes with a pencil rather than with 



DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS 215 

ink, which might either foul her paper, or, by falling, 
might cause her to leave words imperfect. 'Tis after this 
manner that she writes often in Latin to her friends, as 
well as in the other two languages." 

But this much may suffice to be spoken about mutes, 
and the possibility of their being taught intelligibly to 
express themselves, though their deafness should still 
remain. I now proceed unto things of another nature : 
and the next remarkable which we shall take notice of, is 
concerning one now in Hull in New England (viz. Lieu- 
tenant Collier), who, about sixteen years ago, being sensi- 
,ble of pain in Ids throat, made use of the common reme- 
dies in that case, but to little effect. At last the pain 
about those parts became very extream, especially when he 
drank any boor, nor was he able to swallow without much 
difficulty, so that he lived upon water and liquid sub- 
stances. After he had been for some time in this misery, 
a stone appeared under his tongue, which, though visible 
to the eye, continued there for some dayes before it was 
taken out ; and at last of itself fell into his mouth (and so 
into his hands) leaving an hole behind it at the roof of his 
tongue. This stone I have by me, whilest I write this, 
only some part of it is broken away ; that which remains 
weighs twelve grains. The person concerned affirms that 
it was first of a yellowish colour, but now it is white, not 
being an inch in length, in shape somewhat resembling a 
mans tongue. But that which made the matter the more 
strange, was, that w.ien he had occasion to void urin, he 
was in as much pain as if the stone had been in his 
bladder or kidney; for when his urin passed from him he 
was usually put into a sweat with pain and anguish, the 
reason whereof I shall leave unto the more curious inquisi- 



216 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

tors into nature to determine. There are lapideous 
humors in the bodies of men, occasioned, sometimes by 
colds, sometimes by ill diet, which are apt to become 
stones. It is related by the late G-erman. Curio*i, that in 
the year 1655 a person of quality in Dantzick was much 
afflicted with a painful tumor in his tongue ; a skilful 
chirurgeon, perceiving a stone there, cut it out, upon which 
the patient recovered, the stone being as big as a small 
olive. The like hapned to another in the year 1662. 
Again in the year 1678, a gentlewoman in Grunberg, 
having been for several years in the spring and in the fall 
afflicted with a pain in her tongue, at last the pain became 
intolerable, untill a stone as big as a filberd-nut came out 
of her tongue, upon which she had ease. In the Philo- 
sophical Transactions for the year 1672, page 4062, an 
account is given of a man in England who had a stone 
breeding under his tongue, occasioned by his suffering 
much cold in a winter sea voyage. ^*ot long after his 
landing he found an hard lump in the place where the 
stone was generated. There were eight years between the 
time of the stones first breeding and its being taken away. 
Upon a fresh cold-taking he suffered much pain ; but 
when his cold was over his pain ceased. At last it caused 
a swelling about his throat, especially at the first draught 
of beer at meals. The last summer of his affliction the 
stone caused him to be vertiginous; and some dayes before 
its excision such an abundance of rheume and spittle 
flowed out of his mouth as would presently wet all the bed 
about hirn. The stone weighed but seven grains, being 
much of the shape of our ordinary horse-beans. This 
stone was by judicious observators judged to be one of 
those tumors called atheroma, and therefore the name they 



DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS. 217 

would have it called by is lapis atheromatis. Stones 
have been taken out of the joynts of many gouty persons, 
some cold iinposthumes arising in their joynts before. 
Sennertus, Platerus, Bartholinus, Skenckius, and other 
learned men, have observed that humane bodies are subject 
to petrification in every part of them ; and many notable 
instances to this purpose are mentioned in the Philoso- 
phical Transactions at London, and by the Curiosi in 
forreign countries. I presume it will not be unacceptable 
unto such as have not those books for me to relate some 
examples out of them to our present purpose. There was 
then a man, who being troubled with a catarrh and 
obstruction of urin, when a vein was opened, there came 
four stones out of it. Again, a person that was much 
afflicted with a distillation of rhume, and another that was 
continually imployed in preparing lime, small stones bred 
in their lungs, many of which (as big as peas) were 
coughed up. A stone as big as a gooses egg was found 
adhering to the liver of the Countess of Nadasti. One 
that died by a violent pain in his head, there was found a 
stone therein between the dura and the pia mater. A 
woman that died by nephretick pains, the physitian f oimd 
her left kidney to be filled with large stones ; as for the 
right kidney, the substance of it was converted into a per- 
fect stone. In the same year, there was an ox near Padua 
in Italy, which could by no means be made fat, but was 
observed to be strangely stupid, and to hold down his 
head after an unusual manner; they that killed him found 
that his brains were petrified, being as hard as marble. 
The like hapned to another ox in Suecia. 

Nor are humane bodies wholly free from the like petri- 
fication; for anatomists of good credit affirm that they 



218 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

have known several dissected by them, whose brains were 
in part petrified; nay, the heart itself is not exempted from 
this misery. There were three stones found in the heart 
of the Emperour Maxmilian II. It is no less strange 
that bones should be generated in the lungs, heart, and 
other bowels. Xothing in nature seems more mysterious 
than that which hapned to the brother of the illustrious 
Caspar Horwath, a baron in the kingdom of Hungaria, 
who having been for some years consumptive, after his 
death the physitians opened him, and found in the midst 
of his heart (which was very much dried) a bone like an 
almond, perfectly expressing the genuine effigies of the 
dead gentleman, representing his very beard, and all the 
features of his face so exactly, as that it was not possible 
for any artist to have drawn a picture more like the person 
than nature had performed in this bone. ( Vide Germ. 
Epliem. an. 1671, observ. 40, p. 72.) Moreover, credible 
histories report, that in Africa the bodies of men (and of 
other animals) have been turned into perfect stones. Nor 
is that much less prodigious which Albosius reports con- 
cerning a tailors wife (her name was Columba Chatry), 
who having conceived with child, the usual time for deli- 
very being come, was in great pain, and other symptoms 
of birth appeared, yet she was never delivered, but lived 
twenty-eight years in much misery, still retaining her 
burden. After her death the physitians found that the 
child within her was turned into a stone. ( Vide Sennert. 
Pract. Med. liv. iv, part 2, cap. 8, de Lytlwpcedia.) 
Thuanus hath another instance like unto this. And within 
a few years there hapned a thing as prodigious and astonish- 
ing (though without any lapidification) as any of the former 
relations; for in the year 1652, the wife of John Puget, 
at Tolouse in France, being with child, and come to her 



DEAF AND DUMB PERSONS. 219 

full time, was in travailing pains, but no child followed. 
For the space of twenty years she perceived the child to 
stir, with many troublesome symptoms accompanying; but 
for the last six years of her life she perceived it not to move. 
Falling sick, she requested a chirurgeon to open her after 
she was dead : that being done, a child was found in her 
body, neither putrified nor yet petrified; all the inward 
parts of the child were discoloured with a blackishness, 
except the heart, which was red, and without any issuing 
blood. This infant weighed eight pound averdupoise. The 
mother died June 18, 1678, being about the sixty-fourth 
year of her age. I should hardly give credit to a story so 
stupendous and incredible, were it not mentioned in the 
Philosophical Transactions (No. 139, p. 979), as a thing 
most undoubtedly true. But to conclude the discourse 
we are upon, I shall only add here, that it is not so strange 
for stones to breed in all parts of the bodies of men, as for 
plants and diverse sorts of animals to be formed therein ; 
yet many authors have attested to this; and a late writer 
affirms that there was not long since a woman, who having 
drunk stagnating water out of a pond where frogs used to 
keep, grew cachectical, and swelled so as that she was 
thought to be hydropical. One evening, walking near the 
pond where the frogs croked, she perceived frogs to croke 
in her belly. Acquainting a physitian, he gave her a strong; 
cathartick, whereupon she cast up two living frogs, 
pretty large, green on their back, and yellow under their 
bellies, and voided three dead by siege, with a great deal 
of greenish serum; after which she was well disposed. 
Again, in the year 1680, a man, living near Lyons in 
France, voided a worm seven ells long, scaly like a serpent, 
and hairy. See the Weekly Memorials for the Ingenious,, 
pp. 67, 82, 100. 



CHAPTER X. 

OF REMARKABLE TEMPESTS, ETC. IN NEW ENGLAND. 

A remark upon the hurricane, anno 1635. A remarkable accident by a 
sudden freezing of rain in the year 1659. A strange whirl-wind in 
Cambridge, 1680. Another in New Haven Colony, 1682. Another at 
Springfield. Some parallel instances. Of earthquakes in this countrey. 
Land wonderfully removed. Parallel stories. Of remarkable floods 
this year, not only in New England, but in other parts of the world. 
An account of a prodigious flood in France five years ago, with con- 
jectures concerning the natural reason of it. 

THER remarkables, besides those already 
mentioned, have hapned in this countrey, 
many of which I cannot insert, as not 
having received a full and clear account con- 
cerning them. Nevertheless, such particulars as I have 
by good and credible hands been informed of, I shall 
further add. And let it be here recorded, that we have 
seen diverse tempests in New-England which deserve to 
have a remark set upon them, in respect of some notable 
circumstances wherewith they have been attended. I have 
not heard of any storm more dismal than the great 
hurricane which was in August, 1635, the fury whereof 
threw down (either breaking them off by the bole or 
plucking them up by the roots) thousands of great trees 
in the woods. Of this some account is given by Mr. 

220 




TEMPESTS. 221 

Thacher, in the first chapter of our present collection. 
And I must confess, I have peculiar reason to commemo- 
rate that solemn providence, inasmuch as my father and 
mother and four of my brethren were then in a vessel 
upon the coast of New-England, being at anchor amongst 
the rocks at the Isles of Sholes when the storm began ; 
but their cables broke, and the ship was driving directly 
upon a mighty rock, so that all their lives were given up 
for lost ; but then in an instant of time, God turned the 
wind about, which carried them from the rock of death 
before their eyes. This memorable providence is men- 
tioned in my fathers life, both in that edition published in 
this countrey, page 21, 22, and also in that published 
by Mr. Clark in his last volume of lives, page 131 ; 
wherefore I shall not here further enlarge upon it. In 
the year 1659, near the town of Concord in New-England, 
there hapned that which is somewhat rare, and therefore 
to be reckoned amongst remarkable accidents. In the 
moneth of February, it having rained a great part of the 
day, at night it froze extreamly, so as that many limbs 
were broken off from many trees by the weight of the ice, 
caused by the sudden friezing of the rain upon the boughs. 
It was somewhat formidable to hear the crackings made 
a good part of the night, by the falling of so much wood 
(thousands of cords) as was by that means occasioned. 
Of later years several places in this countrey have been 
visited with strange and awful tempests. That was very 
remarkable which hapned in Cambridge in New-England, 
July 8, 1680; the persons who were witnesses of that 
very amazing providence have declared what themselves 
observed about it ; the history whereof I shall here insert, 
a worthy person having furnished me with the following 



222 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

narrative : " Samuel Stone of Cambridge in New-Eng- 
land does declare and testifie, that July, 1680, about two 
of clock in the afternoon, he being with his young son 
in the field, the wind then southerly, he observed 
a cloud in the north-west in opposition to the wind, 
which caused a singing noise in the air ; and the wind 
increased till the whirl-wind came, which began in the 
meadow near where he was, though then it was not so 
violent as it proved afterwards. As it passed by him it 
sucked up and whirled about the hay that was within the 
compass of it ; it passed from him towards his house over 
an hill, tearing down several trees as it went along ; and, 
coming to his barn, carried off a considerable part of the 
roof (about twenty-four foot one way, and thirty the other), 
fell near the dwelling-house where people were, yet could 
not its fall be heard by them (yet it was so great that it 
was heard by some a mile off) by reason of the great 
rushing noise of the wind. Afterwards, as it pressed to- 
wards Matthew Bridge's house, it tore down some trees 
and Indian corn, and there rose up into the air for tha 
space of a quarter of a mile ; afterwards it came down 
upon the earth in a more violent manner ; the effects 
whereof he saw not, but it may be known by the follow- 
ing relation. 

" Matthew Bridge, who was an eye-witness of what hap- 
ned, declares that he observed a thick cloud coming along 
his fathers field before his house, as to appearance very 
black ; in the inside of the cloud, as it passed over him, 
there seemed to be a light pillar, as he judged about eight 
or ten foot diameter, which seemed to him like a screw or 
solid body. Its motion was continually circular, which 
turned about the rest of the cloud. It passed along upon 




TEMPESTS. 223 

the ground, tearing all before it, bushes by the roots, yea 
the earth itself, removing old trees as they lay along on 
the earth, and stones of a great magnitude, some of which 
could not be found again. Great trees were twisted and 
torn down, and carried a distance from the place where 
they were ; branches of trees, containing about a load of 
wood, were blown from their bodies, and carried forty 
yards or more. The cloud itself was filled with stones, 
bushes, boughs, and other things that it had taken up 
from the earth, so that the top and sides of the cloud 
seemed like a green wood. After it went from him, it 
went a mile and half before it scattered, bearing down the 
trees before it above a mile in breadth ; passing through a 
thick swamp of spruse pine and other young trees (which 
was about half a mile through), it laid all flat to the 
ground, yet the trees, being young, are since risen up. It 
was observable, as it passed through a new-planted orchard, 
it not only pulled up some of the young trees by the roots, 
but broke off some of them in .the bodies, about two or 
three foot high, as if they had been shot off, not hurting 
the stocks. Moreover, there was such a great noise made 
by the storm, that other considerable noises at the same 
time, as falling of very great trees very near one, could 
not be heard. The above-said Matth. Bridge, and a boy 
with him, endeavoured to run to the house, but were 
prevented by the storm, so that they were necessitated 
to ly flat upon the ground behind some bushes, and this 
thick cloud and pillar passed so near them as almost to 
touch their feet, and with its force bent the bushes down 
over them, and yet their lives were preserved. John 
Bobbins, a servant man, was suddenly slain by this storm, 
his body being much bruised, and many bones broken by 
the violence thereof." Thus concerning that. 



224 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

The last year was attended with sundry remarkable 
tempests in several parts of this eountrey. One of which 
hapned in New-Haven Colony, June 10, 1682, con- 
cerning which I have received from a good hand the 
following account : This storm began about 2 h. P.M., 
and continued two hours. It reached Stratford, Milford, 
Fairfield, New-Haven, and it was very violent in every 
one of these places, especially at Milford, where three barns 
were blown down by it, anyone house new built, that was 
forty foot in length, well inclosed, was moved from the 
foundation at one corner, near two foot and an half. But 
the greatest strength of the storm was about six miles 
above Stratford, as is evident by the great havock that 
is there made: for the compass of half a mile in breadth, 
scarce a tree left standing, which is not shaken by the 
storm ; the strongest oaks are torn up by the roots, some 
two foot, some three foot and more, over ; young saplins 
that were not so big as a mans middle, were broken off in 
the midst. The storm came out of the west, and the wind 
did before the end somewhat vere towards the north ; it 
was attended with a violent rain : the very noise of the 
wind in the woods was such, as that those that were in 
it could not hear the fall of a tree a few rods from them. 
Great limbs of trees were carried like feathers in the air 
an incredible distance from the trees they were broken 
from; many that were at work in the woods were in 
great danger, and had no way to preserve themselves but 
by running into open plains, where there were 110 trees. 
The strength of the storm passed along east and by south, 
over Stratford river, and between Milford and New-Haven, 
and there it passed away into the sound towards Long- 
Island. Many thousands of trees were blown down both 



TEMPESTS. 225 

above and below the place before specified; but in the 
compass of that half mile the greatest strength of the 
storm was ; for here almost there was an universal de- 
struction of all the trees, leaving the place upon hills sa 
naked that very few trees are found standing. Thus of 
that tempest. 

Also, on June 26, 1682, there were the most amazing- 
lightnings that have been known in New-England, a great 
part of the night being thereby made as light as the day. 
In some places grievous hail fell with the lightning, 
breaking the windows of some houses. But at Springfield 
it was most dreadful, where great pieces of ice, some seven,, 
some nine inches about, fell down from the clouds with 
such violence that the shingles upon some houses were 
broken thereby, and holes beaten into the ground that a 
man might put his hand in. Several acres of corn (both 
wheat and Indian) were beat down and destroyed by the 
hail. Yet this hail-storm (though terrible) was not com- 
parable to that which hapned three years ago in another 
part of the world, viz., at the town of Blois in France, 
where the people were by the amazing fury of a prodigious 
tempest affrighted out of their sleep, and forced to rise 
out of their beds, that they might save their lives- 
Several houses and two (churches) meeting-houses, were 
beat down to the ground. This tempest was likewise 
accompanied with a most prodigious hail, many thousand- 
stones being found as big as a mans fist. This unusual 
artillery of Heaven broke all the slates wherewith the 
houses were covered, and the glass-windows, all over the 
town, as if they had been beaten in a morter. Without; 
the town eight whole parishes with the fields adjacent, were 
wholly ruined by that hail, in such a terrible manner, that 

15 



226 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

it seemed as if no corn had been sown, or vines planted 
there. Four other parishes were much endamaged, mul- 
titudes of chimneys beaten down, so that the damage 
thereby, with the breaking of the windows and tyles, were 
valued to be above two hundred thousand crowns ; and 
the harm in the vineyards and corn-fields invaluable. 
The Divine Providence was very much seen, in that, man, 
woman, nor child, were killed in this fearful desolation, 
The reader may see a more full relation of this prodigious 
liail-storm in Mr. Burton's Surprising Miracles of Nature, 
pages 180, 181. As for those sudden gusts wherewith 
part of Cambridge and several towns near New Haven in 
New England were alarmed, the like hapned at a place in 
England, fourteen years ago, the account whereof may 
be seen in the Philosophical Transactions, number 17, 
page 2156, which I shall here insert. It is that which 
followeth. 

Octob. 30, 1660, betwixt five and six of the clock in 
the evening, the wind westerly, at Ashley in Northamp- 
tonshire hapned a formidable hurricane, scarce bearing 
sixty yards in its breadth, and spending itself in about 
seven minutes of time. Its first discerned assault was 
iipon a milk-maid, taking her pail and hat from off her 
head, and carrying it many scores of yards from her, where 
it lay undiscovered some dayes. Next it storm'd the yard 
of one Sprigge, dwelling in "Westthorp (a name of one part 
of the town), where it blew a wagon-body off of the axel- 
trees, breaking the wheels and axel-trees in pieces, and 
blowing three of the wheels so shattered over a wall ; the 
wagon stood somewhat cross to the passage of the wind. 
Another wagon of Mr. Salisburies marched with great 
speed upon its wheels against the side of his house, to the 



EARTHQUAKES. 227 

astonishment of the inhabitants. A branch of an ash-tree, 
of that bigness that two lusty men could scarce lift it, 
blew over Mr. Salisburies house without hurting it, and 
yet this branch was torn from a tree an hundred yards 
distant from that house. A slate was found upon a 
window of the house of Samuel Tern pier, Esq., which very 
much bent an iron bar in it, and yet tis certain that the 
nearest place the slate was at first forced from was near 
two hundred yards. Not to take notice of its stripping of 
several houses, one thing is remarkable, which is, that at 
Mr. Maidwells, senior, it forced open a door, breaking the 
latch, and thence marching through the entry, and forcing 
open the dairy door, it overturned the milk vessels, and 
blew out three panes or lights in the window; next it 
mounted the chambers, and blew out nine lights more ; 
from thence it proceeded to the parsonage, whose roof it 
more than decimated ; thence crosseth the narrow street, 
and forcibly drives a man headlong into the doors of Tho. 
Brigges. Then it passed with a cursory salute at Thomas 
Marstones, down to Mr. George Wignils, at least a 
furlongs distance from Marstones, and two furlongs from 
Sprigges, where it plaid notorious exploits, blowing a 
large hovel of peas from its supporters, and settling it 
cleaverly upon the ground, without any considerable 
damage to the thatch. Here it blew a gate-post, fixed 
two foofc and an half in the ground, out of the earth, and 
carried it into the fields many yards from its first abode. 
Thus much concerning remarkable tempests. 

Earthquakes deserve to be mentioned amongst Kemark- 
able providences, since Aristotle himself could say, that 
the man is stupid and unreasonable who is not affected 

I5a 



228 



REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 



with them. This part of the world hath not been alto- 
gether free from such tremendous accidents, albeit (through 
the gracious providence of God) there never was yet any 
harm done amongst us thereby, so far as I have heard. 
The year 1638 was attended with a considerable 
earthquake. There are who affirm that they heard a 
strange kind of noise before the earth began to tremble. 
Another earthquake was observed in some parts of New 
England, A.D. 1658. Also in the year 1662, on the 26, 
27, and 28 of January, the earth was shaken at least six 
times in the space of three dayes. I remember that upon 
the first approach of ^the earthquake the things on the 
shelves in the house began to move. Many people ran 
out of their houses with fear and amazement; but no 
house fell, nor was any damage sustained. There was 
another earthquake, April 3, 1668. We in Boston were 
sensible of it, but some other parts of the countrey were 
more terribly shaken. The Indians say that the 
earthquake this year did stop the course of a considerable 
river. It is also reported, that amongst the French in 
Nora Scotia there hapned an earthquake which rent an 
huge rock asunder to the centre, wherein was a vast 
hollow of an immeasurable depth. Concerning earth- 
quakes which have lately, hapned in remoter parts of the 
world, I shall not here insert any thing, having mentioned 
them in my Discourse on Comets, printed the last year ; 
only therein I have not taken notice of that memorable 
earthquake, May 12, 1682, having received information 
concerning it more lately. Such readers as are inquisitive 
into things of this nature may see that earthquake de- 
scribed and discoursed on in the Weekly Memorials for 
the Ingenious, page 125, &c. Remarkable was that which 



EARTHQUAKES. 229 

hapned A.D. 1870, at a place called Kenebunck, in the 
Province of Main in !S T ew England, where not far from the 
river side a piece of clay ground was thrown up over the 
top of high oakes that grew between it and the river, into 
the river, stopping the course thereof, and leaving an hole 
forty yards square, wherein were thousands of clay bullets 
like musket bullets. It is also remarkable that the like to 
this hapned at Casco (twenty miles to the eastward of the 
other place) much about the same time. Whether the 
removal of this ground did proceed from an earthquake, 
or by the eruption of mineral vapors, or from some other 
cause, may be disputed; they that would give a probable 
conjecture concerning the natural cause must first know 
whether a great drought, or much rain, or both succes- 
sively did not precede, of which I am not informed. The 
like memorable accidents have hapned in several places in 
England, both in the former and in this present age ; 
which it may be twill be pleasing and edifying to some 
readers for me here to commemorate. 

To proceed. The like to what hath been related fell 
out (1571) in Herefordshire. Marcley Hill, in the east part 
of the shire, with a roaring noise, removed itself from the 
place where it stood, and for three dayes together travelled 
from its old seat. It began first to take its journey 
February 17, being Saturday, at six of the clock at night, 
and by sei^m of the clock next morning, it had gone 
forty paces, carrying with it sheep in their cotes, hedge- 
rows and trees, whereof some were overturned, and some 
that stood upon the plain are firmly growing upon the 
hill; those that were east were turned west, and those in 
the west were set in the east. In this remove it over- 
threw Kinnaston chappel, and turned two highwayes near 



230 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

an hundred yards from their old paths. The ground that 
thus removed was about twenty-six acres, which opening 
itself with rocks and all, bore the earth before it for four 
hundred yards space, without any stay, leaving pasturage 
in the place of the tillage, and the tillage overspread the 
pasturage. Lastly, overwhelming its lower parts, it 
mounted to an hill of twelve fathom high, and there 
rested, after three dayes travel. 

Again, on the third of January, A.D. 1582, at Hermitage 
in Dorsetshire, a place of ground of three acres removed 
from its old place (as is testified by Stow in his Summary) , 
and was carried over another closure, where alders and 
willows grew, the space of forty rod or perches, and stopped 
the highway that led to Cerne; and the hedges that it 
was inclosed with inclose it still, and the trees stand bolt 
upright; and the place where this ground was before, is 
like a great pit. 

Also, on the fourth of August, 1585, at Motinghani in 
Kent, after a very violent tempest of thunder and rain, 
the ground suddenly began to sink, and three great elms 
growing upon it were carried so deep into the earth, that 
no part of them could any more be seen. The hole left is 
in compass eighty yards, and a line of fifty fathom plummed 
into it finds no bottom. 

Also, December, 18, 1596, a mile and a half from West- 
erham, southward (which is not many miles from Moting- 
ham), two closes lying together, separated with an hedge 
of hollow ashes, there was found a part thereof, twelve 
pearches long, to be sunk six foot and an half deep ; the 
next morning fifteen foot more; the third morning eighty 
foot more at the least; and so daily, that great trench of 
ground, containing in length about eighty pearches, and in 



EARTHQUAKES. 231 

breadth about twenty-eight, began, with the trees and 
hedges on it, to lose itself from the rest of the ground 
lying round about it, and withal to move and shoot forward 
day and night for eleven dayes. The ground of two 
water-pits, the one six foot deep of water, the other twelve 
at the least, and about four pearches over in breadth, 
having sundry tufts of alders and ashes growing in the 
bottoms, with a great rock of stone under them, were not 
only removed out of their places, and carried towards the 
south, at least four pearches a pieces, but withal mounted 
aloft and become hills, with their sedge, flags, and black 
mud upon the tops of them, higher than the face of the 
water which they had forsaken by three foot ; and in the 
place from which they are removed, other ground which 
lay higher, is descended, receiving the water which lies 
upon it. Moreover, in one piece of the plain field, there 
is a great hole made by sinking of the earth to the depth 
of thirty foot at the least, being in breadth in some places 
two pearches over, and in length five or six pearches. 
Also there, an hedge, thirty pearches long, carried south- 
ward with his trees seven pearches at the least; and 
sundry other sinkings there be in divers places, one of sixty 
foot, another of forty-seven, and another of thirty-four foot, 
by means of which confusion is come to pass ; that where 
the highest hills were, there be the deepest dales, and the 
lowest dales are become the highest ground. The whole 
measure of breaking was at the least nine acres. 

One instance more I find to the like purpose in Mr. 
Childrey his Britannia Baconica, p. 131, where speaking 
of the natural rareties of Cheshire, he thus writeth: "July 
1, 1657, about 3h, in the Parish of Bulkley, was heard a 
very great noise, like thunder afar off, which was much 



232 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

wondred at, because the sky was clear, and no appearance 
of a cloud. Shortly after, a neighbour comes to me (saith 
the author of this relation), and told me I should see a 
very strange thing, if I would go with him; so coming into 
a field, called the Lay-field, we found a very great bank of 
earth, which had many tall oaks growing on it, quite sunk 
under the ground, trees and all. At first we durst not go 
near it, because the earth for near twenty yards round 
about is exceeding much rent, and seems ready to fall in ; 
but since that time, myself and some others, by ropes, 
have ventured to see the bottom, I mean, to go to the 
brink, so as to discern the visible bottom, which is water, 
and conceived to be about thirty yards from us, under 
which is sunk all the earth about it for sixteen yards round 
at least. Three tall oaks, a very tall awber, and certain 
other small trees, and not a sprigg of them to be seen 
above water : four or five oaks more are expected to fall 
every moment, and a great quantity of land is like to fall, 
indeed never ceasing more or less; and when any consider- 
able clod falls, it is much like the report of a canon. We 
can discern the ground hollow above the water a very 
great depth, but how far hollow, or how far deep, is not 
to be found out by man. Some of the water was drawn 
out of this pit with a bucket, and they found it to be as 
salt as sea water ; whence some imagine that there are 
certain large passages there, into which the sea flows under 
ground; but I rather think that this salt water is no more 
but that which issues from those salt springs about Nant- 
wich and other places in this shire. But of this no more 
at present." 

Some remarkable land floods have likewise hapned in 
New England. Nor is that which came to pass this present 



FLOODS. 233 

year to be here wholly passed over in silence. In the 
spring time, the great river at Connecticut ueeth to over- 
flow, but this year it did so after Midsummer, and that 
twice ; for, July 20, 1 683, a considerable flood unexpect- 
edly arose, which proved detrimental to many in that 
colony. But on August 13, a second and a more dreadful 
flood came : the waters were then observed to rise twenty- 
six foot above their usual boundaries : the grass in the 
meadows, also the English grain, was carried away before 
it; the Indian corn, by the long continuance of the waters, 
is spoiled, so that the four river towns, viz. Windsor, 
Hartford, Weathersfield, Middle-to wn, are extream suf- 
ferers. They write from thence, that some who had hun- 
dreds of bushels of corn in the morning, at night had not 
one peck left for their families to live upon. There is an 
awful intimation of Divine displeasure remarkable in this 
matter, inasmuch as August 8, a day of public humiliation, 
with fasting and prayer, was attended in that colony, partly 
on the account of Gods hand against them in the former 
flood, the next week after which the hand of God was 
stretched out over them again in the same way, after a 
more terrible manner than at first. It is also remarkable 
that so many places should suffer by inundations as this 
year it hath been ; for at the very same time when the 
flood hapned at Connecticut, there was an hurricane in 
Virginia, attended with a great exundation of the rivers 
there, so as that their tobacco and Indian corn is very much 
damnified. Moreover, we have received information this 
summer, that the mighty river Danow (the biggest in 
Europe) hath overflowed its banks, by means whereof many 
have lost their lives. Also, near Aix in France, there 
lately hapned an unusual flood, whereby much harm was 



234 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

done ; and had the waters continued rising but one hour 
longer, the city had probably been destroyed thereby. 
There was likewise a sudden and extraordinary flood in 
Jamaica, which drowned many (both men and beast), and 
was very detrimental to some plantations there. They that 
came lately from thence assure us, that the waters in some 
places arose an hundred and fifty foot, such mighty streams 
did the heavens suddenly pour down upon them. Thus 
doth the great God, " who sits King upon the floods for 
ever," make the world see how many wayes he hath to 
punish them, when it shall seem good unto him. Many 
such things are with him. There are who think that the 
last comet, and those more rare conjunctions of the superiour 
planets hapning this year, have had a natural influence 
into the mentioned inundations. Concerning the flood at 
Connecticut, as for the more immediate natural cause, some 
impute it to the great rain which preceded ; others did 
imagine that some more than usual cataracts did fall 
amongst the mountains, there having been more rain than 
what now fell sometimes when no such flood has followed. 
It is not impossible but that the wind might be a secondary 
cause of this calamity. Judicious observators write con- 
cerning the river Dee in Cheshire in England, that though 
much rain do fall, it riseth but little ; but if the south 
wind do beat vehemently upon it, then it swells and over- 
flows the grounds adjoyningextreamly; the reason of which 
is, that the river being broad towards the sea, when the 
rain falls it hath a quick and easie passage, but the south 
wind brings the sea in, and doth somewhat stop the free 
passage of the river into the sea. Whether there might 
not be some such natural reason of the great flood in Con- 
necticut at this time, the ingenious upon the place, who 



FLOODS. 235 

know best how things are there circumstanced, may con- 
sider. "With us in Boston it was then at first an Euro- 
clydon; but in the afternoon the wind became southerly, 
when it blew with the greatest fierceness. If it were so 
at Connecticut, it seems very probable that the fury of the 
wind gave a check to the free passage of the river, which 
caused the sudden overflowing of the waters. It has, 
moreover, been by some observed, that the breaking forth 
of subterraneous waters has caused very prodigious floods. 
Since the dayes of Noah, when the fountains of the great 
deep were opened, no history mentions a more surprizing 
and amazing inundation than that which hapned five years 
ago at Gascoyn in France, proceeding (as tis probably 
judged) from the irruption of waters out of the earth. Con- 
cerning which remarkable accident a judicious account is 
given in the late Philosophical Collections, published by 
Mr. Robert Hook, page 9. There being but one of these 
books in the countrey, the ingenious will not blame me if I 
here insert what is there related, which is as followeth: 
"In the beginning of the moneth of July, 1678, after 
some gentle rainy dayes, which had not swelled the waters 
of the Garonne more than usual, one night this river 
swelled all at once so mightily, that all the bridges and 
mills above Toulouse were carried away by it. In the 
plains which were below this town, the inhabitants who 
had built in places, which by long experience they had 
found safe enough from any former inundation, were by 
this surprised ; some were drowned, together with their 
cattle; others had not saved themselves but by climbing 
of trees, and getting to the tops of houses ; and some 
others, which were looking after their cattle in the field, 
warned by the noise which this horrible and furious torrent 



236 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

of water, rowliiig towards them with a swiftness like that 
of the sea (in Britain he means) made at a distance, could 
not scape without being overtaken, though they fled with 
much precipitation : this, nevertheless, did not last many 
hours with this violence. At the same time exactly, the 
two rivers only of Adour and Gave, which fall from the 
Pyraenean hills, as well as the Garonne, and some other 
small rivers of Gascoyn, which have their source in the 
plain, as the Gimone, the Save, and the Ratt, overflowed 
after the same manner, and caused the same devastations. 
But this accident hapned not at all to the Aude, the Ariege, 
or the Arise, which come from the mountains of Toix, 
only that they had more of the same than those of the 
Conseraut, the Comminge, the Bigorre. Those who have 
heard talk of those inundations at a distance were not at all 
astonished at it, believing it to proceed from the violent 
rains of some tempests which had suddenly filled these 
rivers, or that they had caused a sudden thaw of the snow 
of the Pyraeneans, which had swelled the rivers that were 
near. 

" Monsieur Martel of Montaubon, advocate of the Par- 
liament, an inquisitive and learned man, hath searched 
after this cause of this deluge (by the order of Monsieur 
Foucault, Intendant de Justice en la Gene'ralite' de Mon- 
taubaii, one not less seeing and understanding in ingenious 
sciences, than expert and exact in the performance of his 
charge and imployment), understanding that this over- 
flowing could not be produced by either of the foremen- 
tioned causes, and being assured that it must have had one 
more extraordinary than all these. 

"And first he grounded his thoughts upon the report of 
the people of the place who were witnesses of this prodigy; 



FLOODS. 237 

and above all, of those, who being in the highest valleys 
of the Pyrenseans, at the very source, had either seen or 
known all circumstances ; for they all agreed that it had 
rained indeed, but that the rain was neither so great, nor 
lasted so long, as to swell the rivers to that excess, or to 
melt the snow off the mountains. But the nature of these 
waters, and the mariner of their flowing from the moun- 
tains, confirmed him perfectly in his sentiments. For 
1. The inhabitants of the Lower Pyrenseans observed that 
the waters overflowed with violence from the entrails of the 
mountains, about which there were opened several channels, 
which forming so many furious torrents, tore up the trees, 
the earth, and great rocks, in such narrow places where 
they found not a passage large enough. The water which 
also spouted from all the sides of the mountain in innu- 
merable jets, which lasted all the time of the greatest 
overflowing, had the taste of minerals. 

"2. In some of these passages, the waters were stinking 
(as when one stirs the mud at the bottom of mineral water), 
in such sort that the cattle refused to drink of it; which 
was more particularly taken notice of at Lombez, in the 
overflowing of the Save (which is one of the rivers), where 
the horses were eight hours thirsty before they would 
endure to drink it. 

"3. The Bishop of Lombez having a desire to cleanse 
his gardens, which the Save passing through by many 
channels by this overflowing, had filled with much sand 
and mud, those which entred them felt an itching like to 
that which one feels when one bathes in salt water, or 
washes oneself with some strong lixivial, these waters have 
caused the same kind of itching risings in the skin. This 
last observation is not less strong than both the others to 



238 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

prove that this overflowing was not either caused by the 
rains, or by the meltings of the snows, because this itching [ 
could not be produced by either of the said waters, which j 
are not at all of this nature, but by some mineral juice, either 
vitriotic or aluminious, which the waters had dissolved in j 
the bowels of the mountains, and had carried along with it j 
in passing through those numerous crannies. And tis for 
this reason that Monsieur Martel believes he had found 
out the true cause of this overflowing to be nothing else [ 
but the subterraneous waters ; for if the heavens have not | 
supplied his prodigious quantity of waters neither by the ! 
rain, nor the melting of the snow, it cannot come else 
where than from the bowels of the earth, from whence, 
passing through divers channels, it had contracted and 
carried along with it that stinking and pungent quality.'"' | 
But thus much concerning late remarkable floods. 






ficilis. 



CHAPTER XI. 

CONCERNING REMARKABLE JUDGEMENTS. 

Quakers judicially plagued with spiritual judgements. Of several sad 
instances in Long Island aud in Plimouth Colony. That some of the 
Quakers are really possessed with infernal spirits proved by a late won 
derful exarrvnle of one at Balsham, near Cambridge in England. Of 
several who imprecated vengeance upon themselves. The woful end of 
drunkards ; and of those that have designed evil against the churches 
of Christ in New Englatd. 

HOSE memorable judgements which the hand 
of Heaven has executed upon notorious 
sinners are to he reckoned amongst Remark- 
able Providences. Lubricus hie locus et dif- 
He undertakes a difficult province that shall relate 
all that might be spoken on such a subject, both in that 
it cannot but be gravaminous to surviving relations when 
such things are published, also in that men are apt to 
misapply the unsearchable judgements of God, which are a 
great deep, as Job's friends did ; and wicked Papists have 
done the like with respect to the untimely death of famous 
Zuinglius. We may not judge of men meerly by outward 
accidents which befal them in this world, since all things 
happen alike unto all, and no man knoweth either love or 
hatred by all that is before them. We have seen amongst 
ourselves that the Lords faithful servants have sometimes 
been the subjects of very dismal dispensations. There 
hapned a most awful providence at Farmington in 

289 



240 



REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 



Connecticut colony, Dec. 14, 1663, when the house of 
Serjeant John Hart taking fire in the night, no man knows 
how (only it is conjectured that it might be occasioned by 
an oven), he and his wife and six children were all burned 
to death before the neighbours knew any thing of it, so 
that his whole family had been extinguished by the fatal 
names of that unhappy night had not one of his children 
been providentially from home at that time. This Hart 
was esteemed a choice Christian, and his wife also a good 
woman. Such things sometimes fall upon those that are 
dear unto God, to intimate, " If this be done to the green 
tree, what shall be done to the dry 1 that is, fit for nothing 
but the fire." Nevertheless, a judgement may be so cir- 
cumstanced as that the displeasure of Heaven is plainly 
written upon it in legible characters ; on which account it 
is said, " That the wrath of God is revealed from heaven 
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men," Rom. 
i, 1 8. Sundry learned men have published whole volumes 
profitable to be read, on this subject, e.g. Goulartius his 
Historical Collections; Honsdorsius, in his Historical 
Theater t which is inlarged by Lonicerus. Chassalion, his 
memorable Histories of the Judgements of God. And 
amongst our English writers, Dr. Beard, in his Theater o 
Gods Judgements, with Dr. Taylor's additions; and Mr. 
Clark, in his two volumes of Examples, have said enough 
to convince atheists that there is a God, and that there is 
a judgement ; yea, the Divine Providence, in remarkable 
punishments inflicted upon very wicked men, has been so 
conspicuous and glorious as that the Gentiles of old could 
not but take notice of it. The poet could say, " Raro 
antecedentem scelestum deseruit pcde poena daudo" And 
whereas Epicures did object that evil men sometimes 



JUDGEMENTS. 241 

escape punishment a long time ; Plutarch (whose works- 
Beza esteemed to be amongst the most excellent of 
humane writings) has a notable treatise, the design 
whereof is to vindicate Divine Justice in this matter. 
Many remarkable examples to our present purpose have 
hapned in Xew England, and more than I shall at present 
take notice of. All wise men that are acquainted there- 
with observe the blasting rebukes of Providence upon the 
late singing and dancing Quakers in signal instances, two 
or three of which may be here recorded, that so others- 
may hear and fear, and do no more so wickedly. 

The first instance shall be that which concerns the un- 
happy man that was murdered in Long Island, of which a 
good hand in those parts, in a letter bearing date Decemb. 
12, 1681, writes as follows : " There went down about 
a moneth since three mad Quakers, called Thomas Case's 
crew, one man named Denham, belonging to Newer-snicks, 
and two women with him belonging to Oyster Bay ; these 
went down to South-hold, where they meet with Samuel 
Banks of Fairfield, the most blasphemous villain that ever 
was known in these parts. These joyning together with 
some other inhabitants of South-hold of the same spirit, 
there went into their company a young merchant named 
Thomas Harris, who was somewhat inclining to the 
Quakers before (he belonged to Boston) ; they all go- 
about him, and fell a dancing and singing, according to 
their diabolical manner. After some time the said Harris- 
began to act like them, and to dance and sing, and to 
speak of extraordinary raptures of joy, and to cry out 
upon all others as devils that were not of their religion :. 
which also they do frequently. When the said Harris 
manifested these signs of conversion, as they accounted. 

16 



242 



REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 






it, they solemnly accepted of him as one of their company, 
and Banks or Denham (for I have forgotten which of the 
two) gave him this promise, ' that henceforth his tongu 
should be as the pen of a ready writer, to declare 
praises of their Lord.' After this, the young who 
sober and composed before, ran up and down, singing joy 
and calling such devils as should say anything in way o: 
opposition, and said his father was a devil that begat hi 
Quickly after he went from the town of South-hold, to 
farm belonging to that town, to the house of a Quaker 
the same spirit, and went to bed before the rest of th 
family ; and when a young man of the same house w 
to go to bed to him, he told him that he must get up, 
go to South-hold that night, where he had left Banks, and 
the rest ; the young man endeavoured to perswade him to 
lie still till day, but he would not, but gat up, and 
away ; after some time he was missed, and enquiry 
for him, but he could not be heard of, only his hat and 
gloves and neckcloth was found in the road from the farm 
to the town. And two dayes after, Banks looking into a 
Bible, suddenly shut it again, crying out, his friend Harris 
was dead ; the next day he was found by the sea-side, 
about a quarter of a mile from the place, where his hat 
and other things were found, but out of the road, with 
three holes like stabs in his throat, and no tongue in his 
head, nor the least sign thereof, but all was clear to his 
neck-bone within, his mouth close shut, one of his eyes 
hanging down upon his cheek out of his head, the other 
sunk so deep in his head that at first it seemed quite out, 
but was whole there. And Mr. Joshua Hobart, who was 
one of them to view his dead body, told me that there was 
no sign of any tongue left in his mouth : ' Such was the 



JUDGEMENTS. 243 

end of that tongue which had the promise of being as the 
pen of a ready-writer.' Further, the night after he was 
buried, Captain Young (who is high sheriff, and chiefly 
concerned in looking after the business), as he told me 
himself, being in bed, in the dead of the night, was 
awakened by the voice of this Harris calling to his 
window very loud, requiring him to see that justice was 
done him. This voice came three times in that night. 
The next night, when he was asleep, it came into his 
house, close to his bed-side, and called very loud, asking 
him if he heard him, and awaked him." Thus concerning 
that tragical story. 

An intelligent and credible person living upon that 
island, in a letter dated September 4, 1683, adds as 
follows : 

"There was about four years since, by some of the 
same crew, another attempt made amongst us, which was 
also attended with the like providence, though not so fatal 
an issue. There was a young woman, a daughter of a 
Quaker among us, who was howled into their society, as 
Harris was, and quickly fell to railing on others, and then 
to raving, being in a dreadful condition, so that several 
persons of their gang watched with her; and she was 
made wonderfully strong to outstrive them, and to break 
away from them. One of their own party newly in favour 
with them, told me that he was by in the night when they 
watched with her, and in the very darkness of the night 
they heard a very doleful noise, like the crying of a young 
child in the yard or field near the house, which filled the 
auditors with some fearful apprehensions, which when the 
young woman heard, she violently brake from her attend- 
ance, saying, ' The Lord calls me, and I must go ; ' so in 

16a 



244 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

the dark she got from them, to the cry-ward as they sup- 
posed, and it was a good space of time before they could 
find her, and then she was as one affrighted and bereaved 
of understanding, and continued so a space of time, 
sometimes ridiculous to behold, sometimes very awful, till 
such time as Justice Wood of Huntington, by the use of 
means, recovered her, which her quaking friends, notwith- 
standing their brags, could not do ; so that I heard her 
husband say, that he was convinced that the devil was 
among them. This providence was at that time fearful 
among us, yet since, both that woman and her husband 
are railing Quakers, and do hum and revile as the rest of 
them, though several forsook their society upon this 
account." Thus hee. 

That which was perpetrated by this woful generation of 
Quakers, no longer since than this last summer in Plimouth 
colony, is horrid to be related ; yet, inasmuch as the pub- 
lication of it will make appear unto all mankind that 
Quakers are under the strong delusions of Satan, I think 
myself bound to acquaint the world, that not many moneths 
ago, a man, passing under the name of Jonathan Dunen 
(alias Singleterry) a singing Quaker, drew away the wife 
of one of Marshfield to follow him ; also, one Mary Ross, 
falling into their company, was quickly possessed with the 
devil, playing such frentick and diabolical tricks as the 
like hath seldom been known or heard of ; for she made 
herself naked, burning all her clothes, and, with infinite 
blasphemy, said that she was Christ, and gave names to 
her apostles, calling Duneii by the name of Peter, another 
by the name of Thomas, declaring that she would be dead 
for three dayes, and then rise again; and, accordingly, 
seemed to die. And while she was pretendedly dead her 



: 



JUDGEMENTS. 245 

apostle Dunen gave out that they should see glorious 
things after her resurrection ; but that which she then did 
was, she commanded Dunen to sacrifice a dog. The man 
and the two women Quakers danced naked together, 
having nothing but their shirts on. The constable brought 
them before the magistrates in Plimouth, where Eoss 
uttered such prodigious blasphemy as is not fit to be men- 
tioned ; Dunen fell down like a dead man upon the floor, 
and so lay for about an hour, and then came to himself. 
The magistrates demanding the reason of his strange act- 
ings, his answer was, that Mary Ross bid him, and he had 
no power to resist. Thus, when men will not receive the 
truth in the love of it, the righteous judgement of God 
sends upon them the efficacy of error, that they shall believe 
a lie. That the Quakers are some of them undoubtedly 
possessed with evil and infernal spirits, and acted in a 
more than ordinary manner by the inmates of hell, is evi- 
dent, not only from the related instances, but by other 
awful examples which might be mentioned. They are 
indeed to be pitied, in that they themselves know not 
that an evil spirit doth possess and act them \ yet others 
should, from that consideration, dread to come among 
such creatures, lest haply the righteous God suffer Satan 
to take possession of them also. 

Memorable and marvelous is that relation, published 
the last year by Dr. Henry More, in his addition to Mr. 
Glanvil's Collections, p. 58, &c. wherein a true and faith- 
ful account is given of a man whose name is Robert 
Churchman, living at Balsham in Cambridgeshire, who 
was for some time inveigled in Quakerisme, and then an 
infernal spirit spake in him, pretending to be an angel of 
light. Inasmuch as there is (so far as I have heard) but 



246 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

one of those books in this countrey, I suppose it will be a 
service for the truth, and may (if the Lord please to add 
his blessing) tend to reclaim some from the error of their 
way and to deterr those from Quakerisme who have, 
through the temptations of Satan, any inclinations there- 
unto, if that notable history should be more divulged ; I 
shall therefore here insert it : and thus it was : 

Dr. Templar (the minister in Balshani) perceiving that 
Robert Churchman was in danger of being poysoned and 
seduced by the papers which the Quakers had been dis- 
persing in that place, desired him, that when any of their 
books came to his hands, he might have the perusal of 
them ; which, being granted, he suggested that it would be 
very convenient that the person who had given him that 
book should be present when they considered it together, 
This also was consented to. When the Quaker came, a 
special subject of the discourse was, "Whether the Scrip- 
ture is to be owned as a rule." This the Quaker denied, 
asserting that the rule was within them. Hereupon 
Dr. Templar desired Churchman to take notice that the 
Quakers did not own the Scriptures to be their rule, which 
before this conference he would not believe concerning 
them. The next time he met with his brother, Thomas 
Churchman, he acquainted him with the conference which 
had been in Dr. Templars house, and said, for his part, he 
would not be of that religion which did disown the Scrip- 
ture to be the rule. Not long after, the wife of the fore- 
mentioned Quaker, coming to his house to visit his wife, 
he met her at the door, and told her she should not 
come in, intimating that her visit would make division 
betwixt them. After some parley, the Quaker's wife spake 
unto him in these words : " Thou wilt not believe unless 



JUDGEMENTS. 247 

th on see a sign, and thou mayest see some such." Within 
a few nights after, Robert Churchman had a violent storm 
upon the room where he lay, when it was very calm in all 
other parts of the town, and a voice within him, as he was 
in bed, spake to him, and bid him " Sing praises ; sing 
praises ;" telling him, that he should see the glory of the 
iS'ew Jerusalem ; about which time a glimmering light 
appeared all about the room. Toward the morning the 
voice commanded him to go out of his bed naked, with 
his wife and children. They all standing upon the floor, 
the spirit making use of his tongue, bid them to lie down 
and put their mouthes in the dust, which they did accord- 
ingly. It likewise commanded them to go and call his 
brother and sister that they might see the New Jerusalem, 
to whom he went naked about half a mile. When he had 
delivered his message, that which spake within him to 
denounce wrath against them, and declare that fire and 
brimstone would fall upon them, as it did upon Sodom 
and Gomorrah if they did not obey ; and so he returned 
to his own house, where upon the floor of a low room he 
stood about three or four hours. All that while he v/as 
acted in a very unusual manner; sometimes the spirit within 
forced him to sing, sometimes to bark like a dog. When 
his brother and sister, who followed him, were very impor- 
tunate with him to resist it, it bid him to kill them, making 
use of these words : " These my enemies, which would not 
that I should reign over them, bring them, and slay them 
before my face." It made him to utter with great readi- 
ness many places of Scripture which he had no knowledge 
of before. The drift of what was spoken was to perswade 
him to comply with the Quakers ; and it named some 
which lived in the neighbouring towns. About three or 



248 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

four hours being thus spent, he came to himself, and was 
able to give a perfect account of what had befallen him. 

Several nights after, the same trouble returned upon 
him : his wife was tortured with extraordinary pains ; the 
children which lay in the room complained that their 
mouthes were stopped with wool as they were in bed. 
The disturbance was so great, that he had thoughts of 
leaving his house for a time, and made it his desire to be 
at Dr. Templars, who prevailed with him not to be so 
sudden in his removal, but to make some further trial. 
It pleased God, upon a continuation with him in prayer 
every day in the house, that he was at last perfectly free 
from all molestation. The Quakers, hearing of his con- 
dition, gave it out that the power of God would come 
upon him again, and that the wound was but skinned over 
by the priest, which made Dr. Templar the more impor- 
tunate with him to keep close to the publick worship of 
God, and to have nothing to do with them or their writings; 
which direction he folio wed till November 1661, and then 
perusing one of their books, a little after, upon the tenth 
day of that moneth, his troubles returned : a voice within 
him began to speak to him after the former manner. The 
first sentence which it uttered was : " Cease thou from 
man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to 
be accounted?" The design which he discerned it did aim 
at, was to take him off from comeing to the church (where 
he had been that day), and from hearing the Word of God. 
It suggested several other Scriptures, in order to the per- 
swading of him to a compliance with the Quakers, and told 
him that it would strive with him, as the angel did with 
Jacob, until the breaking of the day ; at which time it left 
him. The two next nights it gave him the same molesta- 



JUDGEMENTS. 249 

tion, saying, it must be with him as it was with David, 
who " gave no sleep to his eyes, nor slumber to his eye- 
lids, until he found a place for the Lord, an habitation for 
the mighty God of Jacob." Upon Wednesday at night 
he was very peremptory in his resisting of it. When it 
began to solicit him, he replied, that he saw it was a spirit 
of delusion, which he would not obey ; upon which the 
spirit denounced a curse against him in these words, "Go, 
ye cursed, into everlasting fire ;" and so left him with a 
very great heat in his body. After this, he was, in his 
own apprehension, in a very comfortable condition ; and 
while he was considering what had hapned, a voice within 
him spake to him, saying, " That the spirit which was 
before upon him was a spirit of delusion, but now the true 
spirit of God was come into him." It acquainted him 
that the doctrine of the Trinity was true ; and that God 
had an elect people; and that those whom the Father 
elected the Son hath redeemed; and when Christ redeemeth 
the Holy Ghost sanctifieth ; and told him that the minister 
of the town would further instruct him about the truth of 
these things. Upon Thursday morning, about break of 
day, it set him upon his knees as he was in bed, and bid 
him farewel. The same day it came upon him in the 
field, as he was going to and coming from the market, 
and pressed upon him to believe that it was the good 
spirit which he was acted with, which he still doubted of. 
One night that week, amongst many arguments which it 
used to that purpose, it told him, if he would not believe 
without a sign, he might have what sign he would. Upon 
that, Robert Churchman desired, if it was a good spirit, 
that a wier candlestick, which stood upon the cupboard, 
might be turned into brass, which the spirit said he would 




250 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

do. Presently there was a very unsavoury smell in the 
room, like that of the snuff of a candle newly put out ; but 
nothing else was done towards the fulfilling of the promise. 
Upon the Lords Day following, he then attending the 
publick worship of God, it came upon him ; when the 
chapters were named, he turned to them in his Bible, but 
was not able to read ; when the psalm was sung, he could 
not pronounce a syllable. Upon Monday morning his 
speech was wholly taken away from him. When the 
minister in that place came to him, arid asked him how it 
was with him, he moved his head towards him, but was 
not able to speak. The minister waited an hour or two in 
the room, hoping that his speech might have returned unto 
him, and that he might have gained from him some 
account of his condition; but finding no alteration, he 
desired those who were present to joyn with him in prayer. 
As they were praying, Churchman's body was with much 
violence thrown out of bed ; and then with great vehe- 
mency he called to the minister, Dr. Templar, to hold his 
tongue. When prayer was done, his tongue was bound as 
before, till at last he broke out into these words : " Thine 
is the kingdom ! Thine is the kingdom !" which he repeated 
(as was judged) above an hundred times. Sometimes he 
was forced into extream laughter, sometimes into singing; 
his hands were usually imployed in beating his breast : all 
of them who stood by could discern unusual heavings in 
his body. This distemper did continue towards the morn- 
ing of the next day, and then the voice within him signified 
to him that it would leave him, bidding him get upon 
his knees in order to that end, which he did, and then 
presently he had a perfect command of himself. 

When Dr. Templar came to him, he gave a sober 



JUDGEMENTS. 251 

account of all the passages of the day before having a 
distinct remembrance of what the spirit forced him to do, 
and what was spoken to him by those that stood by ; in 
particular, he told the doctor that he was compelled to give 
him that disturbance in prayer before mentioned ; the 
spirit using his limbs and tongue as it pleased, contrary to 
the inclination of his own mind. 

Upon the Thursday following, the spirit began to rage 
after its former manner ; as Dr. Templar was at prayer 
with him, it was very discernable how it wrought upon 
his body, forced him to grate his teeth and draw his mouth 
awry. He told the minister after he had done, that it bid 
him to denounce woe against him. It pleased God, 
upon continuance in prayer with him, at last to release 
him of all his trouble, and so far to make it advantagious 
to him and to his wife and some others, which were too 
much byassed with the principles of the Quakers, that now 
they have a perfect dislike that way, and do diligently 
attend upon the publick worship of God. 

Thus concerning this strange but true relation. We 
may by this judge whose servants the singing Quakers 
are, and what spirit doth powerfully breath in and act 
those miserable and deluded enthusiasts. 

But I shall say no more to the Quakers at present ; 
only pray that such of them as have not " sinned unto 
death " may have their eyes opened, and (if possible) be 
delivered out of the snares of Satan, "by whom they are 
taken captive at his will." 

It hath been by many observed, that men addicted to 
horrid cursings and execrations have pulled down the im- 
precated vengeance of Heaven upon themselves. Sundry 




252 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES 

very awful examples of this kind have lately hapned : I 
shall here mention one or two. 

The hand of God was very remarkable in that which 
came to pass in the Narraganset countrey in New-England, 
not many weeks since ; for I have good information, that 
on August 28, 1683, a man there (viz. Samuel Wilson) 
having caused his dog to mischief his neighbours cattle, 
was blamed for his so doing. He denied the fact with 
imprecations, wishing that he might never stir from that 
place if he had so done. His neighbour being troubled at 
his denying the truth, reproved him, and told him he did 
very ill to deny what his conscience knew to be truth. 
The atheist thereupon used the name of God in his impre- 
cations, saying, " He wished to God he might never stir 
out of that place, if he had done that which he was charged 
with." The words were scarce out of his mouth before he 
sunk down dead, and never stirred more ; a son-in-law of 
his standing by and catching him as he fell to the ground. 

A thing not unlike to this hapned (though not in New- 
England) yet in America, about a year ago ; for in Sep- 
tember 1682, a man at the Isle of Providence, belonging 
to a vessel, whereof one "VVollery was master, being charged 
with some deceit in a matter that had been committed to 
him, in order to his own vindication, horribly wished "that 
the devil might put out his eyes if he had done as was 
suspected concerning him." That very night a rhume 
fell into his eyes, so as that within a few dayes he 
became stark blind. His company being astonished at the 
Divine hand which thus conspicuously and signally ap- 
peared, put him ashore at Providence, and left him there. 
A physitian being desired to undertake his cure, hearing 
how he came to lose his sight, refused to meddle with him 



JUDGEMENTS. 2i 

This account I lately received from credible persons, who 
knew and have often seen the man whom the devil (ac- 
cording to his own wicked wish) made blind, through the 
dreadful and righteous judgment of God. 

Moreover, that worse than brutish sin of drunkenness 
hath been witnessed against from heaven by severe and 
signal judgements. It was a sign of the fearful wrath of 
God upon that notorious drunkard at a place called 
Seatucket in Long Island ; who, as he was in drink, fell 
into the fire (the people in the house then being in bed and 
asleep), and so continued for some considerable time, until 
he received his death wound. At his first awakening he 
roared out, " Fire ! Fire ! " as if it had been one in hell, 
to the great astonishment of all that heard him. One in 
the house flung a pail of water on him to quench his 
clothes, but that added to his torment ; so he continued 
yelling after an hideous manner, " Fire ! Fire ! " and 
with-ui a day or two he died in great misery. And though 
this drunkard died by fire, it is remarkable that many of 
those who have loved drink have died by water, and that 
at the very time when their understandings have been 
drowned by drink. It is an awful consideration that there 
have been at several times above forty persons in this land 
whom death hath found in that woful plight, so that their 
immortal souls have gone out of drunken bodies to appear 
before God the judge of all. 

That remarkable judgement hath first or last fallen upon 
those who have sought the hurt of the people of God in 
New-England, is so notorious as that it is become the 
observation of every man. This Israel in the wilderness 



254 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

hath eat up the nations his enemies ; he hath broke their 
bones, and pierced them through with his arrows. Some 
adversaries have escaped longer unpunished than others ; 
but then their ends have been of all the most woful and 
tragical at last. I shall instance only in what hath lately 
come to pass with respect unto the heathen who rose up 
against us, thinking to swallow us up quick when their 
wrath was kindled against us. Blessed be the Lord, who 
hath not given us a prey to their teeth ! The chieftains 
amongst them were all cut off, either by sword or sickness, 
in the war time, excepting those in the eastern parts, 
whose ringleaders outlived their fellows; but now God 
hath met with them. There were in special two of those 
Indians who shed much innocent blood, viz. Simon and 
Sqnando. As for bloody Simon, who was wont to boast 
of the mischiefs he had done, and how he had treacherously 
shot and killed such and such Englishmen, he died mise- 
rably the last winter. Another Indian discharging a gun, 
hapned to shoot Simon, so as to break his arm. After 
which he lived two years, but in extremity of pain, so as 
that the Indians when enquired of how Simon did, their 
usual answer was, " Worse than dead." He used all 
means that earth and hell (for he betook himself to 
powaws) could afford him for his recovery, but in vain. 
Thus was the wickedness of that murtherer at last re- 
turned upon his own head. 

Concerning Squando, the Sachem of the Indians at 
Saco, the story of him is upon sundry accounts remark- 
able. Many years ago, he was sick and near unto death, 
after which he said, that one pretending to be the English- 
mans God appeared to him in the form of an English 
minister, and discoursed with him, requiring him to leave 




JUDGEMENTS. 255 

off his drinking of rum, and religiously to observe the 
Sabbath-day, and to deal justly amongst men, withal 
promising him that if he did so, then at death his soul 
should go upwards to an happy place ; but if he did not 
obey these commandments, at death his soul should go 
downwards, and to be for ever miserable. But this pre- 
tended God said nothing to him about Jesus Christ. 
However, this apparition so wrought upon Squando, as 
that he left his drunkenness, and became a strict observer 
of the Sabbath-day; yea, so that he alwayes kept it 
as a day of fast, and would hear the English ministers 
preach, and was very just in his dealing. But in the time 
of the late Indian war, he was the principal actor in the 
bloody tragedies in that part of the countrey. The last 
year the pretended Engiishmans God appeared to him 
again, as afore, in the form of a minister, requiring him to 
kill himself, and promising him that if he did obey, he 
should live again the next day, and never die more. 
Squando acquainted his wife and some other Indians with 
this new apparition ; they most earnestly advised him not 
to follow the murderous counsel which the spectre had 
given. Nevertheless, he since hath hanged himself, and 
so is gone to his own place. This was the end of the man 
that disturbed the peace of New-England. 




CHAPTER XII. 

AN ACCOUNT OF SOME REMARK ABLES AT NORWICH 
IN NEW ENGLAND. 

Special answers of prayer made in that place. That people marvelously 
preserved. The scandalous miscarriage of one so over-ruled by Pro- 
vidence, as to be an occasion of the conversion of several others. A 
further account of some personal deliverances in Norwich. Concerning 
sudden deaths which have hapned in New-England. 

'HERE is lately come to my hand an account 
of some remarkables which have hapned at 
Norwich in Xew-England, drawn up by Mr. 
Fitch, the judicious and eminently faithful 
pastor of the church in that place; which, that others 
may be incouraged to follow his example, in observing 
and recording the special works of Divine Providence, I 
shall here insert, as I received it, and so hasten to finish 
this essay. It is that which follows. 

Remarkable Providences at Norwich. 

1. " Many times the heavens have been shut up ; but 
God hath answered our prayers in sending rain, and 
sometimes so speedily and so plentifully, after our seeking 
the Lord by fasting and prayer, that the heathen, now for 
more than twenty years upon occasion of want of rain, will 
speak to us to call upon the name of the Lord our God ; one 
especial instance of this kind I have already given, and its 

256 



FIREARMS. FIRE. 



257 



upon record in the history of the war with the Indians in 
New-England. 

2. " Many among us have been in more than ordinary 
hazard by rattlesnakes; some have set their feet upon 
them } some have been bitten by them upon the skin ; 
and one, as he was stooping down to drink at a spring of 
water spied a rattlesnake, within two foot of his head, 
rising up against him. Thus manifold wayes in danger 
by this venimous creature, and yet none of us have suf- 
fered any harm, but only one was bitten in the finger, 
and in a short time perfectly healed. 

3. " In the time of the wars with the Indians we were 
not only preseved from the heathen in the midst of the 
heathen, but by the Lords making some of them to be a 
wall of defence unto us ; and thus were saved by a des- 
troying means. 

'And at this time the providence of God was very 
remarkable in preserving many of our people in one of 
our garrisons, who were driven to garrison several houses; 
and the house of which now I speak did contain about 
sixty persons ; and in this house one of the souldiers 
taking a gun loaden with bullets into his hand, as he 
stood in a lower room, the lock being half bent, and he 
holding the gun right upwards, the gun was discharged ; 
though many people were in the chamber, yet none of 
them suffered any harm, because Providence did guid the 
shot into the summer that piece of timber which is the 
support of the chamber. 

" Also, one in the same house, looking with a candle 
under a bed for something he wanted, fired some flax, 
which filled the room with flame and smoke ; and two 
small children lay sleeping in this peril, but were preserved 



258 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

from the fire or any harm by the throng of people in the 
room. At length one of the children was taken up by one 
of the men, with a purpose of throwing it out of the 
chamber window; but at that very moment there was 
such an abatement of the flame, and hope that the worst 
of the danger was past, that he held the child in his 
arms ; and yet presently after the fire brake out again in 
the uppermost room in the house, nigh to a barrel of gun- 
powder ; but some were guided, strengthened, and suc- 
ceeded in their endeavour to the extinguishing the fire ; 
so that the lives and limbs and goods of all these was 
preserved by the good hand of God, who doth wonder- 
fully when we know not what to do. 

4. " One of the children of the church (grown up, 
though not in full communion) was left to fall into a most 
notorious abominable practice, which did occasion the 
church to meet and humble their souls by fasting and 
prayer; and at this time, in the sermon and prayer, it 
was declared, that the Lord had determined either to 
bring our children nearer to him, and not to suffer them 
to live out of full communion with his church, or else he 
would in his anger leave them to such abominations as 
shall cut them off from his church. And since this time 
many young people have, by the grace of the Lord, been 
prepared for full communion, and have taken hold of the 
covenant, confessing that they have felt the impression of 
that Work upon that abashing occasion spoken. And 
thus the fall of one hath been the rising of many. Where 
sin abounds the Lord can make grace to superabound." 

" Concerning some Personal Deliverances. 
" There was a young man endeavouring to subdue a 



PERSONAL DELIVERANCES. 259 

young horse ; and a rope at one end of it was fastned 
about the horses neck, but the horse running with great 
speed, the other end of the rope caught the foot of this 
young man, as in a snare, and was so entangled therein, 
that he was drawn ten rods upon his back in a very rough 
and uneven place of land, he being unable to free himself, 
and none at hand that could help him ; and thus it being 
come to this extremity, the horse of himself stood still so 
long, and no longer time, than that the young man did 
clear his foot out of the rope ; and thus was delivered out 
of the danger, and suffered not a broken bone, nor any 
considerable bruise or harm. 

"There was another young man, who sat upon a 
plough-beam, and suddenly his cattle moving, his plough 
turned, and one of his legs were entangled within the 
plough, and the plough irons pressing hard against some 
part of his body, but could not free himself ; and the more 
he called to the cattle the more speedily they moved, and 
thus was in danger of being torn in pieces ; but in this 
extremity it was not long before the cattle of themselves 
stood still. 

" There was another young man, who did fall about 
ten foot from some part of the mill timber into deep 
waters, and a place of many rocks, a stream very violent, 
and he was carried about eleven rod down the stream, 
where there was a great piece of ice ; and while he was in 
this confounded and amazed posture, his hand was guided 
to take hold of that ice, and there to hold, until one who 
saw him fall, did adventure upon that ice, and drew him 
out of the waters, and thus they were both delivered. 

" There was a very aged man among us, who, riding in 
his cart over a river ; and when the cattle were coming 



260 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

out of the river, he endeavoured to conie out of the cart ; 
but he did fall down so nigh to the wheel, that it began 
to press hard against his breast ; and he only speaking to 
the cattle, they stood still, and ceased moving till he was 
removed out of the danger, otherwise, if they had moved | 
a few inches more, he had been prest to death." 

Thus far is Mr. Fitch's narrative. Had all others been 
as diligent in observing the works of God, as this worthy 
person has, the account of New-Englands Eemarkables 
would have been more full and compleat. But other 
things must be left for another attempt of this kind. I 
shall only add at present, that there have been many 
sudden deaths in this countrey which should not pass 
without some remark j for when such strokes are multi- 
plied there is undoubtedly a speaking voice of Providence 
therein ; and so it hath been with us in New-England 
this last year, and most of all the last summer. To my 
observation in August last, within the space of three or 
four weeks, there were twelve sudden deaths (and it may 
be others have observed more than I did), some of them 
being in respect of sundry circumstances exceeding awful. 
Let me only add here that sudden death is not alwayes a 
judgment unto those who are taken out of an evil world : 
it may be a mercy to them, and a warning unto others, as 
the prophet Ezekiels wife was. Many of whom the world 
was not worthy, have been so removed out of it. Moses 
died suddenly, and so have some excellent persons in this 
countrey done. Governour Eaton at New-Haven, and 
Governour Haines at Hartford, died in their sleep without 
being sick. That excellent man of God, Mr. Norton, as 
he was walking in his house in this Boston, was taken 



SUDDEN DEATHS. 261 

with a syncope, fell down dead, and never spake more. 
The like has hapned to other servants of God in other 
parts of the world. Famous Mr. Vines, on a Lords Day, 
after he had preached and administered the sacrament, 
went to bed well, and went to heaven that night. Nor 
is there any rule or reason for Christians to pray abso- 
lutely against sudden death. Some holy men have, with 
submission to the will of the Most High, desired and 
prayed for such a death ; so did Mr. Capel, and God gave 
him his desire ; for on September 21, 1656, having 
preached twice that day, and performed religious duties 
with his family, went to bed, and died immediately. The 
like is reported by Dr. Fuller, in his Church History, 
concerning that angelical man, Mr. Brightman, who would 
often pray (if God saw fit) that he might die rather a 
sudden than a lingring death, and so it came to pass ; for, 
as he was travelling in the coach with Sir John Osborne, 
and reading of a book (for he would lose no time), he was 
taken with a fainting fit, and, though instantly taken out 
in the arms of one there present, and all means possible 
used for his recovery, he there died, August 24, 1607. 
The learned and pious Wolfius (not the divine who has 
written commentaries on several parts of the Scriptures, 
but he that published Lectionum Memorabilium et Re- 
conditarum Centenaries), on May 23, 1600, being in 
usual health, was, after he had dined, surprised with a 
sudden illness, whereof he died within a few hours. That 
holy man, Jacobus Faber, who did and suffered great 
things for the name of Christ, went suddenly into the 
silent grave. On a day when some friends came to visit 
him, after he had courteously entertained them, he laid 
himself down upon his bed to take some repose, and no 



262 REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES. 

sooner shut his eyes, but his heaven-born soul took its 
flight into the world of souls. 

The man who being in Christ, shall alwayes be doing 
something for God, may bid death welcome whenever it 
shall come, be it never so soon, never so suddenly. 

own HUT 



PSALM in, 2. 



FINIS. 



AN ESSAY 



FOR THE 



RECORDING 

OF 

Illustrious Providences : 



Wherein an Account is given of many Remarkable 

and very Memorable Events, which have 

hapned this last Age, 

ESPECIALLY IN NEW-ENGLAND. 



By INCREASE MATHER, 

Teacher of a Church at Boston in New-England. 



Peal. 107. 8. Oh that men would praise the Lord 
for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the 
Children of Men. 

Psal. 145. 4. One Generation shall praise thy works 
to another, and shall declare thy mighty Acts. 



BOSTON IN NEW-ENGLAND, 

Printed by Samuel Green for Joseph Browning and are 
to be sold at his Shop at the corner of the Prison- 
Lane next the Town-House. 1684. 



F 

7 

M3- 7 



Mather, Increase 

Remarkable providences 



PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY 



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